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.
This summer MZS is featuring two new devotional journals to our students. We encouraged them to use these over their summer break to strengthen and grow their relationship with Christ.
The first is “Live Free”, a five week devotional written by Ben Crawshaw and Jared Jones. It focuses on moving from religion to a relationship with Jesus.
The second is “Wired” by Rodney and Sarah Anderson. This is a four week devotional that focuses on discovering how you are wired and moving onto a deeper relationship with Jesus.
Both of these resources are available to students for $5 at the Snack Shack.
Center for Parent Youth Understanding– www.cpyu.org
Walt Mueller heads this organization and its a great place to go to help you make sense of the craziness in our culture our kids are confronted with.
Fuller Youth Institute- www.fulleryouthinstitute.org
Author Kara Powell and the team at Fuller have lots of great articles and blogs on youth culture and youth issues.
Dr. Jim Burns at Azusa Pacific University has devotionals, culture updates, parent advice and a marriage newsletter you can subscribe to.
The Youth Culture Report– theyouthculturereport.com
A good collection of news, entertainment, and articles, focusing on youth culture.
Orange Parent’s Blog “Parent Cue”– theparentcue.org
We are an Orange church! That means that we subscribe to the philosophy that the church (Yellow – the Light of Christ) is to come along side the parents (Red – the Love of the Family) in raising children. Our children’s ministry uses Orange curriculum on Sunday mornings and we use Orange resources on Wednesday nights.