In our society, it is becoming common to see everyone with a cell phone. Even young children are asking and receiving these communication devices. However, when you decide your child is ready for a phone, it is important that you also teach them proper cell phone etiquette.
July is Cell Phone Courtesy Month. This month reminds people of the importance of proper phone use. Here are four cell phone rules that your children should know when they have their own cell phone.
1. Not all communication is electronic
One of the most important rules is that not all their communication is accomplished through a cell phone. Many tweens and teens feel cool using a cell phone and so it becomes their only mode of communication. This can't always be the case. Help your children understand that if you are near the person you are calling or texting, put the phone down and engage in face-to-face conversations. If a person is talking to you, put the phone away. Do not look things up, send a text or take a phone call in the middle of a conversation, especially if it is with an older individual.
2. No cell phones during class, movies, a lecture or other public area
One of the worst things your child can do with his or her cell phone is use it in an inappropriate place. There is a time and place for everything and in the middle of a learning environment or other public area is not the time. Cell phones are large distractions, not only for your children but also for those around them. Create a list of places that cell phone use is not allowed. If you discover that your child is using the cell phone during these times, provide adequate punishments. Make sure your children understand that where they use their cell phone says a lot about who they are.
3. No texting while driving
If you have teenagers who uses a cell phone and a vehicle, make sure they understand the importance of not texting while behind the wheel. Many teens think they are invincible and nothing will happen to them. However, they need to understand their decisions while driving can not only affect themselves, but also other people on the road. One small text can cause significant injury or even death. Putting your phone down while driving is the courteous, wise and smart thing for them to do.
4. The phone is not a method of bullying
Cyberbullying has become a large issue among tweens and teens and with the increasing number of cell phones in these youngsters hands, it has become simple. Many parents don't monitor their children's cell phone use and so children use social networks on their phones, text messages, emails and more to send inappropriate and hurtful messages to others. Cell phones are a communication tool, but when that communication is hurtful, it can result in a significant amount of emotional damage. Talk with your children about what is right and wrong communication on their cell phones. If your children participate in the wrong kind, they may not be ready for the type of responsibility that comes with a cell phone.
Cell Phone Courtesy Month is an excellent time for all cell phone owners to remember proper etiquette while using their cell phone. And it is also the ideal time to remind your children about dos and don'ts while on the phone. Spend some time this month with your children and remind them of your cell phone rules. And if you need to, establish a few new rules to ensure your children are not participating in the wrong kind of cell phone behavior.