These cell phone rules for kids and teens are designed to keep your kid safe and accountable with their cell phone.
When I was in high school and I needed picked up from school, I would call my parents collect from a pay phone. (Remember those days?: “do you accept the charges from: MOM PICK ME UP AT SCHOOL!”)
I get why we, as parents, are allowing our kids and teens to get cell phones. And new cell phone owners are getting younger and younger.
There is a level of convenience and comfort knowing that we can easily reach our children when they are not with us.
However, in exchange for this simple comfort of being able to reach our kids comes A LOT more things to worry about.
Giving your child a cell phone without teaching them how to properly and safely use it can be like throwing a 3 year old behind the steering wheel of a truck and asking them to take it for a spin.
5 Cell Phone Rules for Kids and Teens
Keep your kid and teen safe with these 5 simple rules on cell phone usage.
1) Charging Station Must be in a Public Spot
Your child or teen’s cell phone must charge in a public location of the house – such as the kitchen or living room. It should not be brought to their bedroom at night.
This prevents your child from scrolling late in the night. Also, it reduces the chance that they will be tempted by other private searches when alone in their room.
My friend gave me this advice after finding her daughter still scrolling on her phone one night at 4 am!
Also read: How to Help Your Kids Connect with Nature
2) No Secret Passwords Allowed
If your child has a password lock on their phone, make it a rule that they must tell you the code.
To those who may see this as invasion of property, I say that your child’s well-being is your responsibility and still not emotionally mature.
Your child should be told that having a cell phone is a privilege, and it will be monitored if you feel the need to.
Also read: How to Rescue Your Kid from Screen Addiction
3) Follow Your Kids on Social Media
Another rule should be that you will subscribe to their channels and follow their accounts. Follow who they follow, as much as you can!
This will help you monitor how they are displaying themselves to the world. You will also get a feel for what influences them and what they are doing outside of the home.
Related: These tips will help your child learn to have a balanced relationship with screen time.
4) Teach this “3 Question Method” for Posting on Social Media
My kids are constantly reminded that if they are going to post anything on social media to first ask these 3 questions:
- Is it okay if my teacher or grandmother see it?
- Is it going to directly hurt someone’s feelings?
- Is there anything personal or private in it?
Read more about the 3 question method for kids and teens on social media here.
5) Utilize a Cell Phone or Social Media Contract
Think of cell phone use and social media as a privilege for your children.
They should not be allowed to drive the “social media car” until they had a course on how to use it and the power it holds.
A printed and signed cell phone/social media contract is a great way to set clear rules and boundaries and hold your kids accountable.
You can decide what rules are important for your family. For example, you can include times when cell phones are restricted (such as at dinner), certain apps that you don’t want them to download, or rules around what they can and can’t post.
If they break any of your rules, they should be suspended from using social media.
Click here for your Free Printable Social Media Contract.
Final Thoughts on Cell Phone Rules
I write a lot about screen time, social media, and cell phones. A lot.
That’s because the internet is a dangerous place. Cell phones are powerful devices. And this is new territory for most of us parents who didn’t have cell phones as kids.
Also, when kids have that power at their finger tips they can get in trouble or make mistakes. As a parent, it is your job to keep your kid safe, even if that means having strict rules and guidelines.
These 5 cell phone rules will help you set the ground rules for safely using their device.
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If you found this helpful, also read 5 Signs YOU are the Reason Your Teen is Pulling Away