All I Want for Christmas is... a Phone?

All I want for Christmas is... a Phone?!

If you are like many parents, heading into the Christmas season can be somewhat exciting and also daunting. ‘What do the kids really need this Christmas?’ ‘They want so many things, but it just becomes more 'stuff!’.

One of my friends is currently debating whether or not to give in to her 12-year-old daughter and buy her a phone this Christmas. She has struggled with the concept all year and is finding the decision difficult. If you are like many parents who struggle with the question of whether buying your child a phone is the right thing to do, let me offer some suggestions to think about before committing.

I have found that when I speak to parents, they are wide open for help on this subject. They know that as soon as they hand a phone to their child, it opens a whole new world. They are excited to give a good gift, but they are also scared to death about the potential danger and conflict it could cause.

So it’s a timely message to share some universal truths and tips when it comes to a phone. Here are some thoughts on giving your child a cell phone this Christmas:

  • Having a cell phone is an opportunity for your child to earn trust and gain freedom. It gives them lots of opportunities to prove their maturity.
  • It should be clear from the beginning that having a cell phone is a privilege and not a right.
  • You only have one chance to set initial boundaries on phone use. It’s harder to set boundaries once the phone is already being used.
  • It’s a great idea to have them charge the phone either in a central location in your house or even in your bedroom at night. This then prevents them using it throughout the night.
  • Offer more boundaries early and loosen them as they earn trust and get older. Leave room for you to give them more freedom as they demonstrate trustworthiness. That’s hard to do if all the freedom is given right away!

These are my best five tips I like to share with parents who are on the road to deciding whether or not to buy a phone for their child. I have also found an interesting resource that may help many of you. It is a phone contract. Well it is less of a contract and more of a conversation guide to help parents through giving a phone to their child.

Follow the link below to access a free copy.

 

Kid's Contract

 

Youth Contract

 

Blessings

Naomi

 

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