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Sensible Rules for Kids with Cell Phones

August 24, 2010

Over the summer, our 10-year-old daughter lost her cell phone. Not lost as in: I can’t find it. But lost as in: You screwed up now you don’t have your cell phone for a month.

We collectively decided that before school started, we would all agree to a written set up rules for cell phone usage. Summer vacation crept to a close this week, and it was time to put my words to action. Before long, I had crafted multiple pages of restrictions. After all, I monitor cell phone (and Internet) usage very closely. I know how to write a Service Level Agreement. And I went overboard on my rules doc.

After careful thought, I trashed my work and asked my (now) 11-year-old daughter to write up her own rules. It took her less than five minutes. Here they are, word for word:


  • I will not text or call after 9 p.m.
  • I will not delete my texts.
  • I will keep my texts and calls to a minimum.
  • I will not text someone if they are right next to me.

    (I usually keep my phone @ home anyways when we are going on errands or to a restraunt or a get-together or aunt Ellen’s and places like that, so I got that covered : )

  • I will answer calls when mom & dad call. If I don’t, I will call right back.

With that, we now have cell phone rules posted and in force. We’ll continue to sit down together every month when our billing cycle closes and go through her text and voice usage, updating any new numbers in our address book that happen to show up. And now, we’ll draw the line on time limits.

How do you manage your kids’ cell phone usage?

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