There is no denying that cell phones have become a powerful and productive force in our society. At the same time, they can limit our ability to communicate effectively, and danger can lurk within if the devices are not properly managed. This is particularly true for young people.
Consider the following four ways that parents can manage and monitor their teens cell phone usage.
Make Them off Limits at School
School should be a place for learning. Phones can be a distraction, and teens can rack up quite a bill when they think nobody else is looking. While computers might be useful tools in a school environment, phones are not. Avoid the temptation that your teen will have to misuse the phone and require that it stay either in their locker or at home.
Turn Them Off at Night
Teens are already notorious for not getting enough sleep at night. This is becoming even more serious of a problem today as more and more young people are using their phones all night to test and talk to their friends in the privacy of their own rooms. While building friendships is what being a teenager is all about, it should not be done so at the compromise of a good night’s sleep. Require that they be switched off after a certain hour.
Secure an International Data Plan
More and more young people are traveling abroad these days. Mobile phones are certainly a useful piece of technology to have, as it will enable your teen to keep in touch with friends and family in relatively easy fashion. At the same time, you need to make sure that you have an international data plan assigned to the phone in order to avoid those sky high charges hitting you when your teen returns home. Managing your phone bills can be a little daunting, but it is definitely possible.
Use Centralized Billing
If you have a centralized bill, you will be able to see how many text message and data your teen is using. This isn’t about you checking up on them; rather, it is about you managing the limited resources that you have as a parent. Boundaries should be set on how much the phone can be used.
These four tips can help you, as a parent, better manage your teens cell phone usage. At the end of the day, you want your teen to be independent and free to learn from his or her own shortcomings. It is your job to also protect them at the same time, so consider these tips as a way to do just that.
This is a guest post: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook