Sample List of Cell Phone, TV, and Computer Rules for Teenagers

Set limits with electronics to help your teen stay healthy.

Set clear rules to help your teen establish healthy habits.
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In addition to establishing household rules for teenagers, there needs to be rules for a teenager’s use of electronics. Most teens lack the maturity to deal with unlimited and uncensored technology.

Set limits on your teenager’s use with electronics. Create a list of written rules that clearly outline your expectations for your teen’s use of various technological devices, such as cellphones, computers, TV and video games.

Also, discuss the negative consequences for breaking the rules ahead of time so your teen isn’t surprised when you take away privileges.

It’s important to create a list of rules based on your teen’s age, maturity and ability to handle responsibility. Here is a sample list of electronics rules for a teen:

1. No Texting During Meals

Teens need rules to help them work on their social skills. Teach your teen respectful cellphone etiquette.

2. The TV Stays Off at Dinner Time

Help limit screen time by setting rules about when the TV should be turned off. Encourage your teen to engage in family conversation at mealtimes.

3. No Screen Time Until Homework and Chores are Complete

A rule that makes teens take care of their responsibilities first is a good way to teach self-discipline.

4. Shut the TV Off at a Certain Time Every Night

Establish a rule about when electronics should be shut off for the night. Late night screen time can interfere with sleeping habits, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

5. No TVs Allowed in Bedrooms

Allowing your teen to have a TV in his bedroom will only encourage him to watch a lot of TV and it will be nearly impossible to monitor what he’s watching and how much TV he’s watching.

6. Keep Computers in Public Areas

Keeping computers in public areas in the home can go a long way to protecting your teen in many ways.

It can provide you reassurance that your teen isn’t accessing inappropriate content and it can also help you to track what activities your teen is doing online.

7. Parents are Allowed Passwords

Sometimes it makes sense for a teen to give you their passwords to their accounts. You can assure them that you won’t check those accounts unless you have reason to believe that something inappropriate is happening. You can also set rules, such as telling your teen that he needs to be friends with you on Facebook and that he can only accept friend requests from people he knows personally.

8. Cellphones Get Turned in Before Bed

Establishing a time when cell phones get handed over for the night can be a great rule. Many teens text at all hours of the night which can make your child feel obligated to reply.

Restricting cell phone access during the overnight hours also gives your teen a way to “save face.” Peers won’t expect him to text back in the middle of the night if he’s able to say, “My parents take my phone at night.” Other kids are much less likely to send middle of the night text messages if they think parents might intercept them.

9. No Giving Out Personal Details Online

Most teens think they’re pretty safe from potential dangers online. This can make them more likely to share their personal information with strangers. They may knowingly hand out their information to someone who “seems harmless” or they may accidentally give out information by posting messages such as, “I wish I didn’t live next door to the school.”

Set clear rules about what information you don’t want your teen giving out. This includes having conversations about the importance of not sending inappropriate sexualized pictures. Tell your teen your expectation about how he should respond if he’s made a mistake and given out too much information or if he’s receiving inappropriate content from others.

10. No Announcing Private Family Information on Social Media

Today’s teens aren’t used to having privacy. Most of them love to air out their dirty laundry on social media. Therefore, it’s important to have conversations about privacy for the family.

Make it clear your teen shouldn’t be announcing private family matters on social media. Perhaps you don’t want your teen announcing over Facebook, “My dad got fired today!” or maybe you don’t want him tweeting, “My sister’s so stupid she just failed her math class!” Explain your expectations about privacy.

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