We've starting seeing many of our friends' kids getting in all sorts of trouble these days. Many just don't know when to draw the line in order to protect themselves. So, whether you've got a 16 year old or a pre-teen getting their hands on their first cell phone, it's never a bad idea to run over some simple etiquette rules...
We found Computer Shopper had written a very good article about this subject in their April 2009 issue:
- Headphones: When talking to another person, say at the lunchroom or at a mall, it's always respectful to give everyone undivided full attention during a conversation. That means removing headphones completely and putting phone calls on hold.
Also, flashing that new iPod around (heck, even wearing iPod headphones gives it away), can cause your teen to become a potential mark for thieves. Try different headphones and keep those iPods tucked away.
Lastly, tell them to keep the volume down. Not only will this protect them from hearing loss in the future, but also lets them be more aware of their surroundings (since looking both ways while crossing just isn't enough when crossing the street).
- Texting: On average, teens send about 1,700 texts a month. Like headphones, when talking to someone, they shouldn't pull out the phone to text - tell them that it's rude. Suggest keeping the phone on vibrate and coming back to it later, when both are done with their conversation.
- Social Networking: Fun fact - teachers don't want to be their students' friends. Doing so often places them in awkward situations. For example, when teachers happens to catch photos of their student drinking while under age, then having to meet their parents a week later in a conference. But more importantly, teachers prefer to keep their personal lives separated. So, tell your kids to be friends with friends. Leave their mentors alone.
- Cell Phones: Talking while on the bus or while standing in line can be a pet peeve for many people and will probably cause everyone around them to immediately have a dislike for your teen. Make sure they understand that, as a casual listener, most tend to believe the speaker is simply trying to glorify their life. While many of us can probably find someone doing this that's doing this at age 40, it's never too late to start a more respectful generation of cell-phone users.
- Driving: Not sure why many still believe talking and texting while driving can possibly be a good idea, but it's always good to remind teens that it isn't. Listening to headphones while driving is also a big no-no, and can be as hazardous driving under the influence with alcohol or drugs.
Have more rules to add to this list? We'd love to hear it in the comments!