Overflowing: “Are you kidding me? No phones for homework? I`m going to die! Comparison: “None of my friends have a contract because their parents trust them. After trying this incredibly popular tool, many parents discovered that the family`s smartphone contract was not worth the paper it is printed on, nor the great hopes and emotional energy that were invested in it. In fact, it can do more damage than you see. Building good digital citizens does not start with a smartphone contract. So before you print out this contract and call your teen out of bed, from the video game, or away from Snapchat to sign it, you can keep reading. Don`t mix the phone decision with the decision on social media; these are two separate decisions. Be careful to slow down their social networks because they can`t do it without their own fault. More than half of American teens are stressed by their attachment to their smartphones.8You need your help. Bond E. Mobile phones, risk and responsibility: understanding children`s perspectives.
Cyberpsychology (Brno). 2013;7(1). doi:10.5817/CP2013-1-3 Melanie and her husband, Chris educates four children in a media home – and have succeeded in replacing video games with sports, music, art and good manners, and they have also done the impossible: they have prevented social media and smartphones from controlling their teenagers. For more information on retrieving your children and reconnecting with your family, see www.FamiliesManagingMedia.com. Focus on building real social skills. Give them the chance to maximize the real social capacities that better prepare them for the world ahead of us. Instead of spending time with apps to monitor their smartphones and social media, you`ll spend more time planning more frequent social gatherings at home to schedule time with your friends personally (non-technical). Don`t wait for them to take the lead on this issue.
It will initially be complicated, but the best gift you can give your teen is the opportunity to develop a depth of valuable skills in person. First develop ways, etiquette and responsibility in real life before allowing the possession of the phone. In fact, you can determine your teen`s phone availability, how they behave in real life. But be careful to subtract a few years, because their phone behavior is generally more immature than their actual behavior. You may be impressed by the hours spent writing this elegant legal brief to convince yourself why they are mature enough for a smartphone, but don`t be fooled. IQ has nothing to do with the need to use the smartphone: maturity, impulse control and the ability to resist temptations and manage risks, to name a few. When my daughter was born 12 years ago, there were no iPads, and I had just bought a mobile phone. At the time, I never imagined how much of my parenthood would revolve around smartphones, tablets, apps and social media. A contract is like a deal with a teenager: “You (the teenager) do it (behave well on social media) and we (parents) will do it (keep paying for your phone).” Deals seemed to work when they were younger (“Eat your green beans and you can have your dessert”), but this phase is over. You are the parent; You`re not dealing with your tweens and teenagers now. Instead, lead them with confidence, love and reason.
Don`t think agreements work for other parents. According to the emails that fill my inbox, parents who make “phone calls” wave a white flag on failed contracts. Could you really trust them with the keys to your shiny new sports car because they signed a contract not to exceed the speed limit? Your car insurance doesn`t trust them to sign and keep a contract, and you shouldn`t either. Hiding their actions and lies are also common behaviors at this point that eventually, believe it or not, they don`t want to hurt their parents with disappointment.