5 non-negotiable kids phone rules every parent should be aware of
No matter how much we want to deny it, our kids are going to have their first phone waaaay before we ever did. Whatever the reasons will be for giving your kid a phone, there are a few non negotiable kids phone rules that every parent must know and set early on.
Respecting your kids privacy is a hot topic amongst parents, but to be honest I would rather have my kids safe and angry with me than the other option.
So here are some kids phone rules you should most definitely implement as a parent:
1. Password protection
Your kid’s phone should have a password and both parents should know it. Here are the reasons: Having a password means nobody can use your phone for whatever reason. Mom and dad will know the password to keep you safe. You will need to use your instincts here as to how often and what you are going to check on your kids phone. This comes somewhere in between respecting your kids privacy and keeping them safe.
2. Stranger danger
You will not accept friendship or contact requests from anybody you don’t know. No texting or messaging anybody you don’t know in person. If somebody you don’t know tries to contact you and it looks in any way suspicious, you tell your parents. Make sure your kid knows that reporting anything suspicious will not put them in trouble.
3. Cyber bullying
The internet can be a really hostile place. Please make sure your child understands that whatever you type on your phone has the same strength as if you said it in person. So rule number one is not saying anything to anybody that you wouldn’t tell to their face. If somebody is bullying you or makes you feel uncomfortable in any way, you report to mom and dad.
4. Sharing pictures
With sexting becoming a thing even between kids very very young, sharing pictures is lesson number one you should teach your child. No taking photos of you private parts. Period. No asking anybody for pictures of their private parts. No taking photos of anybody else’s private parts. Same goes for provocative photos. I would also set a rule that both parents will be friends with the child on all social media, just so you are aware of what your kid is posting. It’s a good thing to explain your kid the following: Any photo of you (no matter if its a selfie or somebody took it) has a very big chance of being shared without your permission. Kids can be mean, so don’t put yourself into a position of being publicly shamed or ridiculed.
Another thing kids need to know is that we don’t take photos of anybody falling, tripping or any other such thing and post it on social media. You go and help the other person out, not share it with the world so everybody can laugh at them.
5. When and where
No phones during lunch. No phones in school, or phone put in locker (whatever the school rules are). No phones in bed. You don’t want your kid missing sleep so that he chats or plays on his phone.
Phones are addictive. Social media can be addicting, especially among teens who get a small adrenaline rush with every like they get on their newest selfie. You don’t want you kid focusing on this instead of school and hanging out with friends.
Denying you kids access to a phone and social media will probably only make them find a different way to use it, one that you will not be aware of. Our kids are more up to date with every new app and all the hidden features we probably have no clue about. So, I am leaning more towards giving my kids a phone and setting rules from the very beginning.
Being open about things and not overreacting when you kid tells you something (that makes you actually freak out) goes a long way in establishing honest and open relationship. Don’t let you kids forget that having a phone is not a given right and teach them to use it wisely.
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