How to Raise a Courteous Phone User

How to Raise a Courteous Phone User // Teaching Cell Phone Etiquette to Teens from
Who out there uses a smart phone? Do you have a pre-teen or teen who uses one, too? Or maybe one who is begging you for a phone?

There’s no doubt we are more connected to family and friends than ever before. Between texting and calling, wireless companies have over 30% of pre-teens and teenagers carrying a smartphone. Staying connected has its benefits, but so does practicing cell phone manners. A national poll says 68% of Americans admit to poor cell phone etiquette at least once daily. Are you one of them? What does your young phone user need to know?

  • If you use your cell phone in public, keep your conversation short and your voice low. A loud, long chat quickly turns you into a distraction.
  • Sometimes taking a quick call or sending a short text is necessary. The best rule of thumb is to answer the person’s specific question. Don’t stay on the phone gabbing or typing if you are with others.
  • Be sensitive to quiet situations by silencing your phone in a movie, classroom, church, library, or waiting room.
  • At work, leave your phone on silent and return calls on your break. Your employer isn’t paying you to talk or text.
  • Don’t talk on the phone or text while driving! Even the best teen drivers don’t have the experience to react quickly to road dangers. The University of Utah’s researchers found that even when watching the road, a 20-year-old talking on a cell phone has the reaction time of a 70-year-old. If you need to make a call or send a text message, get off the road to a safe spot or ask someone else in the car to make the call or type for you. I cannot stress the importance of this point enough! Teens have been charged with manslaughter after causing an accident while on their phones.

Teaching Cell Phone Etiquette to Teens: How to Raise a Courteous Phone User from The consequences of poor cell phone etiquette range from simple rudeness to physical harm. Be sure to review with your child his school’s policies (and reasons for them) regarding phones. Consider writing up a contract between you and your child that spells out these guidelines and states the consequences of not following them. (A great sample contract can be found here at Holy Craft.) And remember, mom and dad need to follow the same rules, too! I know it can be argued that adults have slightly different cell phone rules than kids, but modeling good behavior can work wonders.

Do your children have cell phones?  Smart phones? What are your concerns or struggles regarding your kids and cell phones?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

About Julie Hunt
I’ve lived a full life with many unimaginable joys and heartache like you wouldn’t believe. Our blog exists to encourage folks to slow down, chill out, and love more.