A recent New York Times blog by Tara Parker-Pope, focused on when kids should get cell phones. I heartily agree with the author’s point that a cell phone is not a right. My kids know that if they misbehave or I think the phone is interfering with schoolwork…the phone goes. No questions.
I know that I need to ensure that my kids behave. I use whatever means I have at my disposal. When the kids were little, taking a special toy away or not letting my child have dessert was enough to get the children back to acting correctly. But, my children are older and their special toys are cell phones and computer use. The kids know that I can take away the phone whenever I need to.
Some parents who are frightened to discipline their children would never take away their child’s phone. I worry about kids who have permissive parents. Sadly these are the same parents who will buy alcohol for a teen party to “keep the teens at their house and off the roads.” Shudder.
At the Cox Teen Summit on Internet and Cellphone Safety, @KeyInfluencer, the moderator, shared that in his house their are two kind of cellphones. I attended the summit a week or so ago. James Andres told the teens, moms, and dads in the audience, and special guest John Walsh that in his house the “cell phone with the bells and whistles” is for kids who behave and get good grades. The “cell phone that only makes voice calls” is the phone his kids get if their behavior is not what it should be. LOVE THIS IDEA!!!
Our kids’ cell phones were purchased as a way for the kids to contact my husband and I. If the kids use the phones to chat or text friends that is a bonus. The kids know that we are in charge of the phones.
Are you in control of your child’s cell phone or are they?