Can You Hear Me Now (Cell Phones)
by Rev. Jimmy Vaughn
Cell phones have become a vital part of our lives. Never before have we had the opportunity to “stay in touch” any where at any time of the day or night. While this is a great convenience, we must understand as parents that there is a real danger connected with cell phones.
In days gone by our children’s phone use could be monitored due to the fact that the only phone available was the home phone. You could know when, how often, and most of the time who was calling your child. Those were easier times to say the least, none the less, we as parents must maintain a level of accountability to insure they are not making poor choices when it come to using their cell phones.
The first way to “stay connected” is to simply ask for your child’s phone and scroll through their text messages and other stored information to see just what is being said and what types of photos are being share with and by your child. You and I both know this will be met with opposition, but you are the parent, you are the one paying the bill, and having a cell phone is not guaranteed under the constitution, it is not a right it’s a privilege, one which you are providing them.
The real key here is to establish clear guidelines with your child as to what is expected from them. Also create clear and reasonably punishments for them if they should chose to cross a line. Then establish the fact that you reserve the right to ask to see their phone at anytime, and that you will trust them until they give you a reason to no longer trust them.
A second way to “stay connected” is to pay attention to your cell phone statements. This is a document list of both calls and texts along with the dates, times, and numbers accessed. If the rule in your house is no calls after 10 p.m. you can simply look at your child’s phone number records to verify they are acting in a trust worthy manner.
Parents please remember that we are given the opportunity to love and train up our kids just once. And while sometimes being a parent is not easy or appreciated, it is our jobs to help protect them from those who would do them harm or lead them into poor decision making as well as protect them form simply being young and naive. I am reminded of a saying that was made famous during the cold war, “trust but verify”.
In closing, be honest with yourself, being a child today is nothing like it was when you grew up. Yes, the opportunities and technology is amazing, but the perils are equally as dangerous and numerous.
Rev. Jimmy Vaughn is Pastor of Authentic Life Fellowship