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How do we introduce cell phones to our kids? It’s a big step into an adult world, and concerns such as these are common: Will they abuse it?, Will they turn into “phoneheads”?, What kind of phone is appropriate?, What are the expectations around use of the phone?

A few years ago Janelle Hoffman wrote a blog about phone expectations that went viral. We used her blog as “bones” for a list we created called “Jacey’s Phone Smarts”:

  1. We own the phone, but it’s yours to use.
  2. We will know all phone passwords.
  3. Answer calls/texts from your parents, and answer the phone politely when it rings.
  4. Phone stays plugged in downstairs at night. Listen to your instincts and call and text only at appropriate times during the day.
  5. During the day the phone is for safety – (specifically so we can communicate). Talk to people during the day, do not become a “phone head”.
  6. If it breaks or get lost, you will cover the cost.
  7. Use technology only for good. Do not use it to harm or lie. Do not involve yourself in group texts, phone calls, or games that are intended to harm or lie. Use the phone to be a good friend.
  8. Do not text anything that you would not say in person
  9. Phone is to be silenced and put away in public. Family events are for family, not phone time. You are a kind and respectful person, so don’t let the phone change that part of you.
  10. Do not take pictures of yourself or anybody else that you would not show to your parents or your grandparents. Sharing pictures of your body or anything inappropriate could harm your friendships, your life, your future. Just be your smart self.
  11. Be present for experiences and don’t think you have to take a million pictures.
  12. Leave your phone at home sometimes and know that it’s OK, you are not missing anything.
  13. Listen to lots of different music and enjoy! Be conscious of explicit lyrics – don’t fill your brain with negative or violent language, it only hurts you. Just be your smart self.
  14. Keep your eyes up and see the world and BE with people! Use the phone to connect, not disconnect.
  15. Before downloading any apps, get our OK first.
  16. We are in this together – we can always discuss all of this. You have shown tremendous responsibility and that’s why you are getting a phone. ENJOY!

We also answer a listener’s question regarding the lack of attention that his parents pay to their own grandchildren.  We expand on what he could do to help and how to go about it.

Cathy discusses her experience with reading the book  “Gone Girl” and why she may not finish reading it.  We’ll give you a hint- it’s about filling your life with negative stories and how it will affect your your perception of everything else.

Other Resources:

Scratch Wireless is th phone and plan they got for the their daughter.

Click the following links to purchase Cathy’s books The Self-Aware Parent Part 1  & and Part 2

Click here to find her blog, and click here to find her Chicago Parent column.

Todd has a few spots opening for his Men’s Group.  Email me @ comments@zenparentingradio.com

Tree of Life Chiropractic Care have some interesting workshops planned.  An outline can be found here.

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