Smartphones typically top many teens’ most-wanted gift list each holiday season. With many kids receiving smartphones for the first time during the holidays, the post-holiday season is the ideal time to teach them the unwritten rules of smartphone etiquette. Being a smart user means not only being courteous, but also staying safe. To help guide young kids, tweens and teens in the right direction, consider making some of the following changes in your own habits to lead by example.
Sit down with your kids to discuss a list of agreed upon parameters for mobile use. Sign a contract to ensure that the rules are followed both in and out of the home.
Let your kids know that it’s okay to leave their phones behind. Don’t let life’s most important moments pass by while distracted by your mobile device. Keep phones tucked away in pockets or purses during meals, movies and social events, and encourage your kids to do the same. The devices will still be there later.
With so many photo-sharing apps available, it’s easy to turn any outing into a photo shoot. Make sure your children stay mindful of others before instantly sharing every detail via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, and take caution yourself to reserve the camera for really snap-worthy moments.
Institute a “no texting on the go” policy. Whether you’re walking, driving or riding a bike, texting while on the move is never a safe idea. Instill this message early on, so when it comes time for your children to start driving, they won’t even consider picking up their phones while en route.
The Auto Silent app uses GPS tracking to automatically turn your phone to silent when you enter a designated “silent location.” Alternatively, the brb app notifies friends and family that you’re busy at times when you can’t be on your phone.
Children learn best by watching others, so incorporate these practices into your daily routine to make a lasting impression.