Cell phones among teenagers and tweens are hotter than ever. It was one of the most popular items for Christmas and the trends show, it's not slowing down. The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign has some great ideas on how to keep "cell phone peace" among the family! Check out these tips to curb cell phone misuse.
1. Set ground rules with your teens about who can have their cell phone number and what to do when they receive an incoming call or message from someone they don’t know. If they break the rules, consider taking the phone away for a period of time.
2. Know what the cell phone rules are at your teen’s school and enforce them with your teen. Are they banned? Can they be used between classes?
3. Negotiate an agreement with your teen that if they use more than a certain number of cell phone minutes (which includes text messages), they have to pay for the overages. If this is written and you both sign it then you are both protected from pleading, “I forgot.”
4. Let your teen know that, on occasion, you’ll be checking the text message outbox (review your cell phone manual for instructions on how to do that), and the monthly bill for any unknown incoming and outgoing numbers. It won’t seem like an invasion of privacy if you state upfront that you’ll be monitoring intermittently.
5. Make sure you are well-versed in net lingo and are capable of interpreting their text messages and abbreviations to keep them safe.
6. Make sure your teen is completely aware of safety issues, like NEVER driving and using the cell phone at the same time. Remind them often and be a good role model yourself.