Jun
14
Cell Phones and Tweens
Filed Under (tweens)
How do you know if your tween is ready for a cell phone?  The same way you assess her readiness for other privileges:  take an inventory of her committment and level of responsibility.
 
  • Does your tween take care of her belongings?  Is she organized enough to find her things on a regular basis?
  • Has she demonstrated an ability to follow-through on a consistent task without being reminded? (flash forward to charging the phone or calling you when she arrives at a destination.)
  • Does she follow rules that you set even when she disagress with them?  Is she willing to accept phone restrictions that you set? 
 
You may want to use these bullet points proactively as an incentive to work toward earning the privilege of a cell phone.  That’s correct, a cell phone is a privilege, not a right.
 
If you decide that your tween is in need of a cell phone and ready and to accept responsibility, you may consider these strategies for success:
 
  • Have your tween share the cost of the phone.
  • Create a contract WITH your tween outlining the rules of cell phone use.  Both of you sign the contract.  And be prepared to confiscate the phone if rules are broken.
  • Consider the many service options available including parent controls.  You may want to start with many controls and lessen them as your tween earns more freedom with trustworthy and dependable cell phone use.
 
Like any parent, I was hesitant to introduce cell phones to my tweens.  I’m pleased to report that by following the outline above, we’ve encountered very few problems or arguments. I’ve even reaped some unforseen benefits.  My tween daughter and I communicate more often as a result of texting to each other.  We’ve found fun ways to connect like sending each other love notes or jokes.  As they say, “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.
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