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Family Texting Guidelines

It is the responsibility of parents to establish and model rules for cell phone use.

Parents have an opportunity to teach their children how to use cell phones in a respectful way.

Parents have an obligation to monitor their child's cell phone use until the child demonstrates self-control, time management and responsible decision-making.

Parents have the right to address any concerns over a child's cell phone use when problems arise.

Everyone in the family should follow basic texting guidelines:

Always use kind and respectful words when texting

If you are angry or upset, wait to text until you have cooled down.

Keep texting light and enjoyable

Never text when upset. Save emotional conversations for the phone or in person. It is easy to misinterpret a text when upset.

Texting is best used for brief, non-emotional messages

For example: Running late. Be there in 5 minutes. Can you pick up eggs? Are you free right now?

Not: You are never on time. You don't care about me. You suck.

Texting is allowed when you have free time

Ensure that texting does not interfere with school, homework, work or family time. No texting during meals or family activities.

No texting after bedtime

Nighttime is for sleeping. Sleep is too easily interrupted by text messages. Cell phones remain in a common area of the house or in the parents' care during nighttime hours.

No texting while driving!

Texting and driving is dangerous for you and everybody else on the roads.

Text messages are forever

Text messages and pictures become part of a permanent record in cyberspace. They can be stored, forwarded and posted elsewhere. These messages may eventually be traced back to you.

Texting takes patience

Wait for a reply. Sending a message does not guarantee the other person can or will respond immediately. Do not keep texting the other person.

If something is urgent, make a telephone call

A telephone call is the best way to communicate something urgent or immediate. It allows you to provide more information quickly than you would be able to via text message.

Text others when you are not interrupting your time with friends

People consider it rude to be a part of conversation or activity with others and text at the same time.

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