Saturday, September 06, 2008

Cell Phone Battles

So, I’m at a local high school, it’s the end of Back to School Night and I’m putting away my StandUp Parenting display at our table. I whip out my cell phone and place a call to my husband, letting him know I’m on my way home.
Three girls with ‘Volunteer’ tee shirts rush up to me exclaiming, ‘Oooh – no cell phones at school!’ They are shocked – shocked! The crisis was averted when I explained that I wasn’t a student, it was after school, um, really, it’s okay!
In the last few years our local schools – middle and high schools in particular – have developed standards for cell phone usage to combat the cheating, bullying, drugs and porn that are just some of the distractions that cells introduce to class and campus.
And the standards, though they vary from school to school, are tough. One infraction and said cell may end up in the office. Some schools allow the student to retrieve it at the end of the day, others require a parent’s presence.
This should encourage us. Why? Remember the StandUp sheet on motivating early/mid/late teens and adults? One can motivate changes in behavior by requiring you child to earn (or suffer the loss of) a privilege or item. Cell phone rates high on most kids list of ‘wanna haves’.
The encouraging note is this – if schools can take away a student’s phone – so can we. Should you? Will it precipitate a crisis that you’re prepared to handle? Can you afford not to, in the long run? Well that’s a topic that you can explore in your StandUp Parent Support Group. Good Luck!