How to deal with argumentative children when it comes to cell phones and the tremendous influx of all kinds of technology has become a real source of frustration for many parents.
In our own home, we have had to deal with out-of-control texting and the consequences on our teen's behavior and family life.
In our home, cell phones are thought of as a privilege - a want and not a need. Even for adults. After all, we all got along just fine for the majority of our lives without cell phones and we still can, although some adjustments would have to be made.
If you are finding yourself often arguing with your child over cell phone usage and feeling guilty because "everyone has one, after all", stop now. Here are some things to think over before your next confrontation with your child.
- It's a phone.
While phones CAN be used as entertainment centers, organizers, navigators and information gather-ers, they don't need to do any of that to be used as a phone. Often parents realize that and then use the argument that they want their child to have a cell phone for safety reasons.
If that is truly what you want a cell phone to do for your child, then get a basic phone with about twenty minutes of talk time a month and no texting.
Perhaps you don't want your child to be without the latest technology. Do you know why you feel that way? Very often the gadgets in our kids' lives get in the way of them doing the important jobs they are supposed to be focusing on, such as doing well in school, treating their families appropriately, and learning how to discipline themselves daily to get done what they are tasked with accomplishing.
Encouraging kids to always want the latest and greatest is a huge trap that can follow them into adulthood in the form of overspending and never learning how to say no to themselves. It's also a great way to actually develop an argumentative child.
- The problems.
If your child doesn't have a cell phone, unless she borrows one, she cannot do sexting, sit at the dinner table rudely texting, run up data charges or make you wish you had never given her that phone.
Will she whine and complain? Maybe. Depends upon your child, what she's used to getting and the boundaries in your home.
Sound harsh? Not at all. As we already talked about, some parents have the notion that they owe their kids the latest technology. Not true. What you owe your kids is a backbone, so that when they ask for things they are not ready for, don't need, have not personally earned, or will tempt them to do things beyond their maturity level you can and will say "no". That's a parent's job. That's leadership.
When you are dealing with argumentative children and cell phones, take the time to remember what's really important and what you, as a parent, are trying to teach your child. Growing up to be a productive, kind and generous human being requires a lot more focused work than using a cell phone.
Trust me. Your child will learn how to use a cell phone at some point. He can learn that at any time in an afternoon. But if you don't teach him how to be honest, trustworthy, patient and respectful, who will teach him that?