Phone: (585) 786-8000 ext. 2108
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Principal Kim D'Amico
Cell Phones and Middle School
Middle School is an exciting and challenging time for most teens and tweens. With the increase in freedom and responsibility, many families use middle school as a right of passage for electronic devices. With these gadgets comes expansion into social media like Snapchat, Instagram, Kik, Twitter, Tumblr, WhatsApp, Tik Tok, and the list goes on.
There is a lot of drama that occurs in middle school primarily related to social media. Interactions on social media are the primary driver behind most issues that come across my desk. Below is a list of tips that I have developed for families to help circumvent issues before they arise:
Charge devices overnight in a supervised location.
All too often I have spoken with teens who were up into the late hours of the night using their phone in their room to communicate with friends. By instituting a designated charging space, you are ultimately removing the temptation.
Set screen time limits.
For Android phone users: Google’s Family Link app lets you create a time limit for daily usage as well as a “bedtime” period when your child is prevented from using the device.
For iPhone users: Apple’s parental controls on your child’s phone allows you to set daily time limits for gaming, entertainment, and social media apps in addition to a “downtime” period which disables certain apps.
Teach financial responsibility.
Revealing the financial cost of the phones is a wonderful budgeting tool that can be useful in the future. Sit down with your teenager and explain the fees associated with the phones, data, text messaging, apps, etc.
No phones during dinner.
Use family meal time to find out what is going on in your child’s academic and social life.
Teach Social Media Manners.
As parents, you spend a great deal of time teaching your child manners from a very early age. The same principles should apply for communication devices. For example, be polite, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all and, lastly, treat others the way you want to be treated.