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Family Cell Phone Guidelines

As parents, our primary responsibilities are to keep children safe and healthy. We do this as we guide, model, nurture, support, challenge and sometimes negotiate with our children.

The use of a cell phone is an earned privilege.

In order to keep this privilege and to remain safe, we each agree to the following rules:

Family Rules

As parents and children, we will:

  • Respond quickly to phone calls from one another in the family
    If a family call is missed, I will call them immediately as it may be important.
  • Not send messages in anger or messages that are hurtful to others
  • Not say or text anything to anyone using the cell phone (and all of its apps) that we would not say to them face-to-face with adults present
  • Not take, send, post or forward pictures or videos of anyone online without that person's permission
  • Not take, send, post or forward inappropriate messages that could be considered sexting or cyber-bullying. This includes:
    • Sexual words
    • Hurtful phrases
    • Potentially embarrassing pictures of ourselves
      A good rule to follow is: Would I show this to my family?
  • Not text while driving!
  • Monitor our cell phone use and its effects on our family.
  • Not use our cell phone or apps when they interfere with:
    • Work
    • School
    • Chores
    • Family time

    If I am told that my cell phone use is disruptive, I will wait until a better time.

    Discuss times when cell phone use is unavailable or off limits to each of our family members (e.g. family meals, after bedtime, and other).

  • Discuss our cell phone use regularly. We will adjust our use as we gain more responsibilities.

Parent rules

As parents, we will:

  • Be good role models for cell phone use
  • Respect the privacy and emerging independence of our children
  • Not violate the privacy of our child’s phone use without notifying our child
  • Contribute to an agreed-upon portion of our child's monthly phone service fee
  • Follow through with consequences for cell phone use violations

Child or teen rules

As a child or teen, I will:

  • Abide by the cell phone usage rules established by my parents and school
  • Pay for any charges beyond monthly fees agreed on with my parents
  • Not use my phone to download information from the Internet without my parents' permission
  • Not go to websites that my parents do not approve of
  • Not give out my cell phone number or any private information about myself or my family without first discussing this with my parents
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