Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

WFMW: Telephone rules for teens

When my teens started using the phone 24/7 I completely lost track of who had the phone extensions, who was calling whom, who was making 3-way calls, and who was calling people all over the country. I wracked my brains trying to figure out a way to keep my kids 'phone responsible' but of course nothing worked, especially when the cell phone was removed from their hot little hands as a punishment for, well, whatever.

But I came up with some rules that are working like a charm. They sound intrusive, but they are teaching my kids to think before dialing the phone, and to take responsibility for the phone calls they make and take. The best part? No more lying about the phone.

The rules are simple:

1) When you make a phone call, parents dial the phone. You can call anyone, but we need to see the number you're calling. Result? No more long distance calls!

2) When the phone rings, parents answer it. You can talk to whomever is calling, but now parents know who you're talking to, who calls 35 times a day, and who is refusing to talk during actual call times (after dinner to 10:00 pm). Result? You can keep track of who is on the phone.

3) You may not take the phone up to your bedroom for hours at a time. If you need to make a call, or if you get a call, the phone remains on the floor where your parent is. You can have privacy by going to another room, but you MAY NOT go upstairs to hide and make calls that parents can't track.

Three simple rules. At first there was a lot of protest, but it took only one day to get the rules down pat. When there is deviation, well... no phone for a day.

The best part? The phone has stopped ringing every 10 minutes all night long. It's a miracle!

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OpenID alwayswithme said...

Excellent idea. You will be so glad you did this.

21/5/08 9:22 AM  
Blogger Daisy said...

It's a lot of work to enforce this. Kudos to you for laying down the law!

21/5/08 5:47 PM  
Blogger insane mama said...

This is going to be a hard rule to put into force, but a good one!

21/5/08 6:07 PM  
Blogger margalit said...

We've been doing it for a week, and mostly it's working perfectly. Even when someone mistakenly dials the phone, they show me who they're dialing, and that's pretty much all I want to know!

21/5/08 9:37 PM  
Blogger Suldog said...

Excellent rules. Someday, your children will forgive you :-)

22/5/08 7:18 AM  

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