Each Christmas parents of teenagers (and emerging teenagers) face the dilemma of buying their teen that first cell phone. There are lots of questions about these devices and there is no clear cut answer about when is the right time for teenager to have a cellphone. However, I do want to offer you some things to consider if you are in that boat this year.
Here’s some guidelines on giving your student a cell phone this Christmas:
1) Having a cell phone is an opportunity for your student to earn trust and gain freedom. It gives them lots of opportunities to prove their maturity.
2) It should be clear from the beginning that having a cell phone is a privilege and not a right.
3) You only have one chance to set initial boundaries on phone use. It’s harder to set boundaries once the phone is already being used.
4) It’s a great idea to have them charge the cell phone in your room at night. This prevents them using it through the night.
5) Offer more boundaries early and loosen them as they earn trust and get older. Leave room for you to give them more freedom as they demonstrate trustworthiness. That’s hard to do if all the freedom is given right away 🙂
To help you have open and honest communication and to give your student a sense of responsibility with a cellphone, you’ll find a cellphone contract HERE that you can download print and sign with your student.