The adoption of smartphone among teenagers has significantly increased over the past few years. According to the 2013 Pew Internet study, nearly 80% of American young adults now own a cellular device. One in every four is a heavy internet user who would rather go online on their mobile device than a traditional computer. For academic pursuits, having a portable internet device is indeed very beneficial, since it aids them in their doing homework and research. But how can you ensure that they are not spending too much time with their gadgetries? What about their exposure to restricted online content? As parents, an effective solution to avoid your teens turning tech-obsessed is to set certain mobile boundaries.
For this entry, we’ll show effective ways on how you can moderate their mobile usage and consumption.
Track Cellular Usage
“The wireless industry offers tools to help parents keep track of their children’s phone use,” Verizon wrote. You can check on what type of websites they are visiting as well as monitor their real-time location or invest in great mobile solutions such as uKnowMobile, which is a smarter way to keep track of their cellular activities such as call history and sent messages. It also collects their social data from Instragram, Facebook, and Twitter. By monitoring their usage, you’ll:
Know if they are using their gadgets during classes or during sleeping time.
Be informed if they are being cyberbullied on their social networks.
Have an idea if they are browsing restricted online contents and if they are “sexting.”
Make sure to thoroughly explain why it’s necessary to take this necessary precaution in their mobile phone use. Remember, trust is still the most important factor in a fruitful parent-child relationship.
Talk About Expectations
Nothing beats an open communication with your teens. Upon giving them the gadget, do to talk with them about your concerns and expectations. For instance, you can tell them that you expect them to get good grades in school, despite having access to mobile internet most of the time. Also remind them to use it appropriately and refrain from using it class as it can cause distractions. Having this type of informal conversations more often can help avoid cyber bullying and other online mischief.
By making a contract, both you and your kiddo agree to the provisions stipulated in it. If conversations serves as an informal method of setting boundaries, then this one is more transparent and formal. Write the entire dos and don’ts including the consequences involving their gadget usage. For instance, you can include the following conditions:
No texting while having dinner with the family or during family bonding activities (i.e. watching movies, family night, etc)
No texting while driving.
No texting beyond 12 midnight, except for emergencies
Most importantly, remind them to never share their number and location to strangers and the possible consequences if they do so. Make sure to include realistic consequences, depending on the levels of their violation.
Reasonable Limits for Data Plan
Giving them more than what they need means giving them the opportunity to possibly take advantage of this privilege. If you don’t want them over-indulge themselves with uncontrolled mobile devices then don’t give them the reason to. Choose an appropriate data limit, enough for them to enjoy moderate media streaming and web browsing for doing homework researches.
Set a Good Example
If you want this venture to be successful, as parents you should also set a good example. Don’t let your teenagers catch you using your handset inappropriately. Also be diligent in following through your contract stipulations in responsible mobile phone use. It’s also imperative that your kids know and feel that you trust them. Otherwise, they might resort to rebellion.
By setting some mobile boundaries with your teens, you are also ensuring their mobile safety. It might not be an easy task, so we hope our tips above will be helpful for you. Remember to take it easy and to avoid being blunt when imposing these boundaries. Do you have other suggestions?
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-Article Contributed by Allie Cooper