21 December, 2015

Don't Be A Foolish Parent | Cell Phone & Internet Safety

When my husband and I decided that we would give my oldest a cell phone for her 12th bday(she ended up getting it a month early), we didn't take it lightly. We decided to give her a phone that way she could keep in contact with friends/family out of state. We didn't just give her the phone and say "Here, have fun with it...do whatever you want"...THAT would be just plain foolish. We sat her down before we actually gave her the phone and went over groundrules, which were;

We made it VERY clear to her that this is NOT her phone. It was paid for by my husband(and myself) and having this phone is not a right, it is a privilege that can be taken away.

  1. You get the phone ONLY after doing your schoolwork(we homeschool) IF you have a good attitude and not complain about that day's assignments. 
  2. WE(my husband and I) keep the phone after 8pm on week nights & 9PM on the weekends in OUR bedroom on the charger.
  3. My husband and I have the right to look at the phone whenever we want to. The ONLY people to know the passcode is my daughter, my husband and myself & NO ONE else.
  4.  If at any point we(my husband and I) feel she is not responsible enough for this phone, we can & will take it away.
  5. NO cell phone/tablet usage during meal time and family time. Using proper phone etiquette and keep it turned off in church, restaurants and quiet settings. and not rudely play on the phone in social situations.
  6. My daughter is to let us know immediately if someone she doesn't know tries to text or call her(Yes, She knows about the dangers of sexual predators and all that stuff. My mom drilled it into my head when I was allowed to get on the computer when I was 12 yrs old, and we have talked to my daughter about it).
  7. You never send mean or inappropriate texts to anyone. If someone sends mean or inappropriate texts to my daughter, she is to tell us immediately.
  8. You I never take embarrassing(or inapproriate) photos of yourself, your friends or family.
  9. We made sure she understood that this phone will be taken away if she violates any of these rules. We also made sure she understood that her phone may be taken away if she breaks any other rules in the house that require punishment. Mostly we wanted her to understand that we love her and only want what is best for her. Always. 
Once these rules were understood and agreed upon we went into the store and purchased the phone and placed her our on plan. We have been getting a lot of backlash from others, saying my daughter isn't responsible enough, & that we don't monitor her. My daughter isn't your typical 12 year old....I mean in some ways, yes...she is, but she is way more responsible than most grown "adults".

LET THIS BE KNOWN....WE.MONITOR.EVERYTHING she does, yet we respect her rights to privacy(which yes, a 12 yr old DOES have). These rules apply to her cell phone, computer/tablet usage. 

I proposed a new idea to my husband which was this; instead of letting her use the phone after school work is done, allow a certain amount of phone time for each chore she does(without having to be reminded to do it or complain about). She has 4 chores that we have assigned her with.

  1. Load/Unload the dishwasher
  2. Take out the trash. We have valet trash pickup, so we literally place our trash can outside of our front door and they pick it up. She takes turns with this chore with her 6 yr old sister.
  3. Keep your room clean. I'm not the type of mom that acts like a drill Sgt. If her room needs picking up and she hasn't done it...I remind her. She knows where things belong in her room, so if something is out of place...I don't wreck her room and make her clean it up, I show/tell her where it belongs.
  4. Help with the laundry. 

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