When you decided that you were going to get your kids a cell phone- What was your reasoning behind it?
Maybe it was because they were going to be coming home alone after school for the first time?
Possibly it was because they were going to be out with friends and you wanted them to be able to reach you in case of emergency?
Whatever it was, it was more than likely about their safety.
Flash forward to what it has morphed into today…
Many, if not most kids with cell phones now have them in their hands or very near by 24/7.
In essence, they are bringing home “strangers of all shapes and sizes” within that phones capabilities each and every day.
Just about the polar opposite of your original purpose for the phone, right?
There was a time, waaaay back when- that if your friends wanted to reach you, the only way they could talk to you after school was either come over to your house OR call the house phone.
Both of these options meant you had access and control over the who, what, why and when of your children’s lives.
NOW, those phones that were MEANT to be safety features for our children have provided them with the independence of an adult, without the maturity to understand what that means.
Here is my challenge to you, should you choose to accept it:
Try to treat your kids’ phones like an old fashioned house phone.
When they come home- the phone goes in a box until a certain time in the evening when they’ve finished their homework, eaten dinner, actually shared their day with family- you know- all the things that you have to BEG them to do every evening while they are on their phones?
Will you face some push back from your kids? Of course.
Like any other time in their lives that you have to say, NO to them.
They won’t like it.
Studies show that creating (or breaking) a habit takes 21 days to take effect in the human brain. I know, that sounds like an eternity.
But it will be COMPLETELY worth it.
If you stay firm on your new rules, you and your kids will feel a shift to more peace and calmness in your household. Yes, even the kids will begin to appreciate the fact that they aren’t being throttled by gossip and interruptions from friends and they can actually experience a calm that they don’t even know they want!
There are even “phone safes” that can take the responsibility of holding the phones out of your hands. You program them for a certain time to “reopen” and there’s no amount of begging or pleading that will allow them the phone until that selected time arrives and the safe opens!
Give it a try. I’d love to hear how it goes!
Wishing you love and luck~~