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We have taken the plunge and now 2 of our 4 kids have their own cell phones, complete with texting, and they have joined the ranks of more than 16 million children in the US with cell phones. If you need to answer a text or call, excuse yourself and inform your friend that you won’t be texting back until (fill in the blank) is over. Don’t text to one person and try to talk to another – it is a distraction for both and a disingenuous practice. My kids are all technology savvy – and I have to make concerted efforts to keep up with them. The laptop only travels from the living room or dining room to campus or elsewhere with Mom’s permission. Mom and Dad get to be your “friends” on sites like Facebook, and if the site is supposed to be for kids 14 and older, we don’t lie and create accounts before that age. We go over these rules and remind the kids of them regularly, which is often met with a bored-sounding, “I kkknnnooowww.” They can’t tell me I never made it clear, and they can’t tell me they weren’t aware of the rules.
Great article, I think it’s getting more and more difficult to keep track on the time they spend on phones and computers. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
Add to that 2 computers in the home and digital cameras and camcorders to go around, and our children are connected – seemingly to everywhere and everyone.
Not only is it rude, but the fingers to mouths to phone and back again is a highway for germs. The person on the other end can’t tell voice inflection or the twinkle in your eye, so you cannot be certain as to how your message will be received.

Kids see texting amid other social interactions as a quiet, un-interrupting conversation, but for adults it is an annoying and rude habit.
When we were kids we were taught the 9 to 9 rule – no calling friends between 9pm and 9am out of respect for others in the household. Just because you can talk in the middle of the store to your best friend about the party last night doesn’t mean the rest of the shoppers care to hear about the details. We have two computers, one in the office and the other a laptop, and at any given time during the day they seem to be in use. No computers in bedrooms – it is too easy with wireless internet to get sucked into an online world. This doesn’t mean that my husband or I use them to spy on the kids, but it does mean that in the case of an emergency we would have access to information or if we suspect our child of misbehaving or of being in danger online we could act immediately.
If they break the rules and use technology for inappropriate activities, they know The Mom always finds out and knows all. She is also on an incredible journey as she home schools her 4 children, and is supported through it all by her husband of more than 15 years, Steve. And more importantly what they are doing on there, thanks for your advice and rules, some I may be trying!
With the world at their reach setting ground rules for technology is even more important than ever.
Her cell phone keeps us connected, gives her an extra measure of security, and helps me plan my driving schedule.
Texting might be quieter, but those vibrating phones are still annoying (says the mom who can hear her daughter’s phone vibrate through the ceiling above my office).

Rules for computer use not only help keep our kids safer, but they can help keep them healthier as well. It is clear that if anyone uses technology to bully, technology will no longer be an option for that child. Many parents are surprised to learn that Twitter is actually intended for those only 18 and older, but because the site doesn’t require an age when creating an account, it becomes a non-issue.
They also know that all of this technology really is a privilege and they need to treat it as such. We must monitor their activities on cell phones with the help of StealthGenie and on their computer with a Key logger. While our parents had to worry about explaining the boundaries that were safe to travel in our neighborhood, we have to come up with ways for our kids to navigate technology safely, where their neighborhood is infinite, and not always even real. My son travels constantly for sporting events and I have better things to do than sit and wait for a bus to bring him back that I didn’t know was 45 minutes late because he couldn’t call me. That being said – cell phones are sometimes the thorn in my side when it comes to the constant connection the kids seem to have with them. Our kids live in a world where adult issues, words, and situations are right at their fingertips, yet they are still kids.

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