Without a doubt, the number one question I get now-a-days, from parents of teens, is: What do I do about their cellphone!? I will admit, cellphones have changed the game and probably made the distractions from each other worse...
If you're up for something a little more honest take 3-minutes and watch this one: click here!!
When it comes to social media and specifically cellphones I don't think I need statistics to sell this point (but if you're 'that guy' here you go)... So what can we do about it!?
- Cellphone Saftey: Locate your son/daughter in an emergency, Block "adult" content, using restrictions for installing apps, in-app purchases, etc.
- Limit cellphone use in general
- Monitor text messages on their phone (yes, you can still get a print out of your son/daughter's text messages but because of the 2006 Consumer Telephone Records Protection Act you will have to go to court to make that happen)
- Specific links for each major telephone provider: AT&T, Sprint & Verizon
- Here's a list of apps parents should be aware of: Click here (Also see: Omegle)
Though the links above are very practical ideas and tools you can implement immediately. The ultimate goal of any parent is to:
- Be the example you want to see in all areas of life
- Discuss with them helpful boundaries for phones and other activities
- Empower them to make positive choices themselves!!
Last thought... Maybe you are one of the lucky ones and your son or daughter is being very responsible with their cellphone use regarding apps, pornography, bullying, etc. But did you know that LOTS of studies have been published recently discussing the fact that standard cellphone use (just texting, talking, etc.) is very harmful to sleep, anxiety and even lower grades!! The fact is, because of the "instant" access cellphones give us, teens feel they must "be there" for their friends no matter the hour.
Remember, you need to be an example... So texting them when they are in class or even having your phone out at all hours of the night is not setting them up for success!!
May we have the strength to put down our addictions and fall back in love with the simple things this week... May we have the trust that You are who you say You are and will do what you said you will do and thus I do not have to be my friends "savior"... May You protect our kids from the evil one and may we be great stewards of the children you have blessed us with, teaching them about this world... May we see where You are already at work and join You in it this holiday season... May we fall more in love with You TODAY!!