{ Brianna’s New Cell Phone }

Brianna new phone blog-2

This really is an epic event in this house. Perhaps the title of this shouldn’t read “New Cell Phone”-but just “Cell phone”. We have been holding out for a LONGGGG time before taking this leap, and I am happy to say that I am so glad that we did. It’s amazing what the right timing can do for a situation. And as you can see, this girl is way happy that the time in now for her to have a cell phone.

We asked her to wait a week into school just to get used to school and her new busy schedule before adding in the additional distraction of a new phone. Aaron had switched to Verizon a few months ago, so a family trip to the Verizon store was in order. She was pretty set on a slider phone that had a separate keyboard to type on-an “essential” thing for texting we are finding out. She convinced us to get a smart phone-which was actually cheaper in the long run-but it came with some stricter rules as well.

Brianna new phone blog-1

Rules for Brianna Cell Phone (and any of our kids really who will get to participate in the cell phone privilege when they are in high school)

1. Phone is not really yours. This one caused a few tears at first, especially since Brianna had to fork out the $50 to actually buy the phone. The point was that the phone can be taken away at any point if the rules aren’t followed. We weren’t going to hear the excuse-“well it’s MY phone”. Once she understood our stand, she was better with it. I think she was afraid we would use it as a family phone, and at any given time would say, “Brianna, give Austin your phone to take to soccer practice.” Not the case-and now we’re all happy.

2. Phone is turned into us each night at 9:30pm for school nights, and later on weekends, and is ours until the next morning. Late night texts and calls are a no go for us.

3. We have the right to read any texts any time we want. I am sure there are some families that feel this is an invasion of privacy, but as long as she is in this home, we have the duty as parents to help her learn how to text appropriately so when she is out on her own, it will be second nature. To do that, sometimes you have to have checks and balances. We do random phone checks periodically, and she is so okay with it. I love that she is actually the one to read us her texts as she is having a conversation with her friends. I love that!

4. You are responsible for 20% of your phone bill to keep your phone. This turns out to be $8.00 a month. I love this one because it teaches her not to be responsible to pay her “bill” on time to us-she will lose her phone if she doesn’t pay, but helps her to be at least motivated enough to do her jobs around the house to get paid, as well as act appropriately to keep her phone. No one wants to pay for a month of phone use, only to lose it for bad behavior for two of those 4 weeks. Ouch.

Which leads to..

5. The phone can be lost at any time for bad behavior. We are lucky with such an awesome daughter that we have rarely had to enforce this one. Being sassy, dishonest, or otherwise making a bad choice can lead to phone lose for a few days to a few weeks. We have only topped out at about a week so far. I have learned to always ask her the punishment-she always chooses a longer time than we would.

6. No phone upstairs. We have a pretty strict phone on the main floor rule. We have our computer in the main area of the house, and we want our kids in plan view-for their safety and ours, when they are using the internet. She really just wants to play her music upstairs, but this one I am unmoving about. Partly because when you know people are watching you, you are more likely to make good choices-make appropriate texts, look at appropriate things, talk to friends about appropriate things with good language,etc. If they would happen to come across something inappropriate than we are right here to help them deal with it, and they are not in their rooms “hiding” it from us-not even on purpose, but maybe embarrassment-but can lead to some pretty major problems down the road. And finally because even though she may not have a problem, it sets a precedence for all our kids down the line.

7. No phone at church on Sundays and not to be distracting at Wednesday night church activities. This rule was one that had to be added, but one that Brianna is obeying pretty good. I could go on and on about the benefit on having and using the printed scriptures vs. scriptures on a phone-though I do love the convenience of that too. For us though, it’s nice to not have the temptation that a phone adds with all of it’s “other stuff'” that shouldn’t be used or needed during our time to focus on the Savior.

There are a few others that we have-a very loose term, but are harder for us to keep good on because at times we are the problem. One is being on time to seminary in the morning-but many mornings we are the problem not her, so we haven’t enforced that one too much. Why have a rule, if it’s not enforced? I guess I should maybe list it more as a goal for us-with a reward attached? There are times too when we are more lenient on the time at night for the phone to be turned in because we are right there with her all staying up a bit later. We are lucky because the school already has a VERY strict rule about no phone use, so it’s nice not to have to have any rules for there. The thought of losing your phone for 3 days just for your first offense, really is motivation enough.

When I write all these rules out, it seems like a lot of don’t and shouldn’ts, but when I see how good they are followed, and how many great things she CAN do on her phone, it really isn’t many. We have just learned that spelling things out in the beginning, and discussing together with our kids what we expect, and what they expect makes things run so much smoother.

And how is Brianna liking her new phone? LOVES. IT. Boy does that girl know how to text. I really am glad that we opted for the unlimited texting for her because in the first month alone she had about 7,000 texts. Yep, 7,000. Mind you, some were lots of this: Winking smile :0 ;( ;D and ha ha’s. But that girl is sure getting her $8 worth a month. And to have a great example to her other siblings-yeah, that’s pretty priceless.

Cell phone world here we come!


Jessica said...

Ok...I just may to copy each rule you have and file it away for our kiddos are old enough to have cell phones. Such great parenting...really! I love this! Hope you guys are doing well!

Lisa said...

Ryan will get a phone when he gets back to the states in the summer. But these are very similar to our iTouch rules. I'll have to tell you about a Ryan texting story later!! Glad you are blogging a bit!!! I love it!