Parents Worry About Kids' Cell Phone Addiction

Are you concerned your child might be addicted to their smartphone? You'd be surprised how most parents responded to that question.

Geplaatst door FOX 35 Orlando op Woensdag 28 februari 2018

My son received a cell phone last year. He was thrilled, and truth be told, so was I. Now that he carries a phone, I find it much easier to work with peace of mind. Letting him take it to school and athletic events was a bit of a concern, but we worked it out.

Cell Phone photo
Photo by kevin dooley

School policy
According to school policy, cell phones cannot be used during school hours. That is more than reasonable, but my concern was my son and younger daughter’s walk to and from school. Knowing they could call me when they left the building, or send me a text letting me know he was subbing for a cross walker, made life easier. Before the cell phone, I ended up looking for him if he was late, only to eventually find him wearing the orange sash at the corner. He keeps the phone in his backpack, turned off, until he leaves the building.

Every situation is different
The decision to give him a cell phone was not entered into lightly. My oldest son was 16 and my daughter received hers when she turned 15. Their situations were different. My oldest two went to the school where I taught, so I knew where they were, this son and his little sister walked three blocks to their school and I liked knowing they could reach me if anything happened along the way, or if they locked themselves out of the house.

Responsibility
Unlike many of my son’s friends who carry phones, my son pitches in on the monthly cell phone bill. He pays a portion from his landscaping income to cover his service. The nice part is, his “clients,” our neighbors, know they can reach him on his cell phone to let him know if they need their gutters cleaned, or other additional services such as leaf removal in the fall or shoveling in the winter. He knows the phone is a privilege and treats it with respect.

Rules
Aside from being sure the phone is off and kept out of sight during school hours, the main rule is simple: he must answer the phone when I call. The first month of cell phone fun, brought with it consequences. He made the mistake of going to his friends house on his bike and then walked to a nearby playground with a group of boys. Normally that is not a problem, but that day I needed to find him, and could not reach him. His excuse, “I couldn’t hear my phone, I was playing kickball,” was reasonable knowing my son, but unacceptable. If he is going to carry a phone, he is going to check for missed calls and, if it is his mom calling, he will call back immediately!

Overall, this past year of my son carrying a cell phone has been great. While I reserve the right to pull the plug, so to speak, I am glad he is only a call away.