If you have a teen or tween who is about to start his school after summer vacation or who have already celebrated their first day in class, they will definitely be joining back the school with some kind of smartphone. Most modern parents did not have cell phones when they were the same age as their kids. As a result, they are always curious about the effects of these smartphones on their kids’ learning ability. Still, more of them are concerned whether the cell phones are safe for their kids or appropriate to have at school.
While it is true that smartphones can keep your kids safe, there is also a risk that smartphone could become a liability or distraction under certain conditions.
Being a parent it is our responsibility to guide our children and to teach them the right and sensible way to act in various situations and this is no different when dealing with the technological concerns posed by smartphones.
Here are a few easy ways discussed to use your cell phone smartly. These etiquette tips can ensure appropriate phone usage by your kids once they are off to school every morning.
Etiquette to Follow:
1: Respect the people in your presence:
Real social life is not social media but the people you are with physically. Your social gatherings are made up of people you meet and have meal with. So when you receive a message then restrict the use of phone if you have to interrupt a conversation to respond. The message will still be there but the priority should be given to the person in your presence. Even if you feel that the text is important to be replied, then do not start a texting conversation without excusing yourself or asking if you may quickly reply the particular text. Show respect to the person by replying quickly and coming back to the business at hand.
And lastly, remove the headphones or Bluetooth from your ear so people may know you are present for them and that serves as a gesture to show them respect.
2: Be Polite:
Some teens get carried away when speaking or conversing on the phone. They speak loudly as if there is no one around, and this gives a selfish and inconsiderate impression. Kids learn through examples and we can show them to be polite. You can either advise them to use headphones or a microphone when talking on phone. Also, teach them not to play music and games loudly specially in public places where people may be bothered or irritated by their loud sound. Being polite and considerate to people brings moral sophistication in your kid.
3: Discuss Smartphone Responsibility:
Kids of our age are a lot smarter than most adults give them credit for being. Kids who were “nice” this year may soon unbox a smartphone. But parents may be wary of the naughty things that children do with their devices. Kids or even teenagers normally go out of their ways to break rules. So it is a good idea to sit down with your children when you buy them their first smartphone and explain them that it’s a tool, not a toy. Make sure they know how dangerous it can be to drive with a phone. You should also be clear with them that using a smartphone in class is disrespectful, and will have a negative impact on their learning experience. Set some rules for the smartphone and have them sign a cell phone contract that clearly states those rules and restrictions.
4: Say No to Explicit Content:
Not every app is safe for your child. Many of them contain inappropriate content or explicit language that can be obscene at school. Be a proactive parent and have a check at your kid’s cell phone. Delete anything vulgar or unsafe.
Parents who are already in the game know if they are going to compromise over the use of strict cell phone usage rules, they can use the parental control app that can save your kid from viewing unsuitable content. Using the app makes the restricted content inaccessible for your kid.
5: Teach them to respect screen time:
The older generations were brought up by watching TV, today’s kids are consumed by screen time on smartphones and tablets. So when you buy your kid a new phone, manage the amount of time and type of activity on their digital devices. Screen time varies from activity to activity. Kids spend a lot of their time watching YouTube videos or playing games for longer intervals. Too much exposure to these activities is harmful to sleep, grades and health of you kid. A parental control app can be a perfect solution to limit their screen time.
You can help them by setting clear boundaries and scheduling specific timeframes for when they may use their phones.
6: Use Your Own Phone Appropriately
You are a role model for your children no matter how grown up they are. They may not show you but you still make a huge part of their personality and character building. So if you want your kids to only use their phones during appropriate times, then make sure you become a model for them to follow
7: No Phones on the Dining table:
Technology can be a source of alienation if misused. One way to avoid that is no phones on the table when having meals with the family. This is a time to talk about day’s events as well as plan for the next day. Having a phone nearby can be a temptation and can distract us anytime. So better devote our time to family and the importance it deserves.
8: Restricting Data Usage
Smartphones open up a whole new world for kids. They not only use them as a communications tool for calls and text messages but also as a platform for apps, playing games, engaging in social media, and taking and sharing photos. Like any other thing, regulation and etiquette are the guiding principles. In the same way, we do not allow our kids to eat all the candy in the candy store. So, if you do not want to incur huge data charges for overuse, make sure to guide your child about data limitations.
9: Be careful when taking pictures and videos:
Cell phones come with amazing camera features today, anyone can create high-quality photos and videos with them. With these features at your kids’ disposal, you must teach them that it is not appropriate to take pictures in certain places or institutions, it is also not okay to take photos of strangers without asking permission.
Selfies are super popular with younger users but it also opens them to being distracted or not paying attention to their work. There is news of accidents every other day about people taking selfies in silly situations. You should also be mindful about what your children share with their friends.
10: Use passwords and Security Features:
Smartphones sometimes get lost or misplaced. Teach your kids to use a password to ensure that in the event a phone is lost or stolen, then important information can still be safe from the hackers or those who may misuse it. Kids today have wider exposure to technology and they can easily master their parents’ smartphones or other devices. Phones come with fingerprint sensors that enhance the security of the phone. It only takes a few minutes to set it up and makes the device more secure without requiring any password. After all, the more secure your kids’ phone is, the more relax you would be.
Smartphones are an unavoidable part of the world you and your children live in, so it’s important to help your children understand the importance of using them properly. Following the above discussed smartphone etiquette tips you should have no trouble keeping your children out of trouble with their phones throughout the year.