It’s time for another Online Parenting Class, and this month we are going to address teens and cell phones.
It will help answer some of the questions you may have regarding cell phone use.
You may be asking, is there an appropriate age to provide your child with one? But the more important question is, is your child ready for a cell phone?
One way to decide is to let you teen tell you why they think they are ready. Ask your teenager straight up: “Do you think you are ready to have a cell phone?” See how they answer. Can they give legitimate reasons, or do they give a weak answer like, “Because I am the only one who doesn’t have one!” Use this question to launch a conversation that goes much deeper. Ask your teen, “Tell me how you are ready to have a cell phone.” This will get to the heart of the matter. See if they are able to identify some positive and negative aspects to cell phones.
For example, ask them if they’ve noticed families in restaurants where both the parents and the kids are on their phones, not engaging in conversation with one another. See if your teen can identify things that are being lost by cell phone use. Ask what are some of the good memories they have from family dinners? How is face-to-face conversation different from texting? What are the benefits, but also, what are the downfalls?
Hold back from sounding judgmental; see if your teen understands the potential pitfalls of cell phone use, and make your decision to give him or her one based on this.
It’s not about asking the right questions. It’s about simply having the conversation. If you plan time to do that, you’ll likely be very clear on your answer.
I hope this lesson is beneficial! Please feel free to reply to this email with any prayer requests you may have for your family.
I am honored to serve you and your family through prayer.