Responsible Parenting: Mobile Phone Usage And Responsibility For Pre-Teens and Teens
When mobile phones first came out, they became one of the most sought out gadgets by adults as a tool for communication, and as years went by and phones became more cheaper and more user friendly, teens and even children want to have one. As adults, it’s understandable why we have phones, for teens, they would need it to socialise more or connect with friends but with children, I am quite doubtful.
Everywhere you turn, you usually see pre-teens or teens with mobile phones in their hands texting and calling away. Mobile phones are not toys and they are not accessories which for some teens feel that they are. When you don’t have a phone you may be deemed as an outcast in a group since you can’t relate to those who have phones. To be in the clique, these kids would want to have their own phone so that they would fit in. More likely, teens tend to text rather than call and they are the ones who mostly make use of the internet on their phones, updating their social media statusor any other multimedia account. They tend to download games, ringtones, music or just play with their mobiles. Probably most teens use their phones as a camera or mp3 player or accessories since it’s handy, they tend to make use of it more than what it really should be.
When you give your child a mobile phone, it’s like giving them an all out access to a different world. Unlike when you let your kids talk on the phone at home, you can monitor the numbers they dial, their calls and who they are talking to. On the other hand, with a cellphone you can’t get to monitor what they are texting or who their contacts are. You don’t know who they are exchanging communication with. You can’t monitor what they are saying and if the use of their mobiles can be healthy for their social life or not.
Before giving your children this kind of access, you must let them understand how to make use of this powerful communication tool responsibly. Cellphones are already one of the main causes of distractions in the classroom. It can even distract them while they are studying. Instead of listening or paying attention to class or doing their homework, they tend to check their phones too often. They can get easily distracted by the phones especially when someone is texting or giving calls.
Others may even engage in unhealthy mobile phone practices and that includes sexting and cyberbullying. It’s very easy to share, forward inappropriate photos, videos, texts and other media to others and upload it to the web. Cyberbullying is one of the problems that comes with this and it can happen fast and swiftly. Imagine if that would happen to your child?
If your child’s performance have been affected due to his or her new “mobile phone addiction”, then set a consequence that you can carry out immediately. You are the one who gave them the phone so you have the power to take it away. Also, mobile phones can be a tool for cheating in the classrooms since kids can text silently and exchange messages especially when the teacher isn’t looking. Discourage the use of mobile phones as toys, this is a gadget mainly for communication, draining on the battery for taking photos, videos and or playing games will not help. Yes, they have the freedom to take photos and videos provided that it does not embarrass anyone.
You should teach your children to be responsible with whatever they text, talk on the phone or share over their phones. Make sure that they will be good and responsible children and that they can be trusted with what you have given them.