Some Smartphone Rules to Control Children's Usage

Are your kids or grandkids always looking at their smartphones? Do they tune-out conversation? In many homes, smartphone usage is hurting family communication. This is not only frustrating for adults, but kids often miss key points. Setting some family rules may help to restore communication and control kids' phone usage. Here are the rules I suggest: 1. Mealtime is family time and no phones are allowed at the table.

2. Phone usage is limited at holiday events such as Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas dinner.

3. Check the phone for messages only when necessary, not because of habit.

4. Smartphones must be turned off 30 minutes before bedtime.

5. Keep your phone in your pocket when talking with others.

6. Your phone must be turned off during classes, meetings, and church services.

Kids who have smartphones can hardly wait for the next model to come out. But they may not need a new phone. If the phone does what is needed, you (or the kids) sholdn't spend money on a newer, flashier one. The most important piece of smartphone advice: Monitor those bills carefully!