A few days ago, I asked my two older kids if they wanted to go on a bike ride. It was dusk, the scorching hot sun was beginning to set and I thought it would be a great way to exercise and talk about our days. Foolish me.
We’re riding along and I hear that familiar buzz…..someone is receiving a text message. I didn’t even realize the kids’ had their cells with them. Suddenly my son’s thumbs spring into texting position. The buzz has caused my daughter to look at her phone, too. Next thing I know, both my kids are riding and texting at the same time. I slammed on my brakes. “This is ridiculous,” I screamed. “Can’t you put those things away and enjoy a bike ride?”
The incident started me thinking about cell phones and restrictions. I’ve made it clear to my kids that the driver’s seat of a car is a text-free zone. So is our dinner table. Now that my daughter spent $200 on a BlackBerry, she wouldn’t think of getting ketchup on it anyway. Text-free dining has become accepted in our home and when my kids have friends over, they voluntarily tell their friends the house rule. Though, they probably won’t admit it, I think they like the non-interrupted time to talk about their day.
I know other parents who don’t really mind their kids texting at the dinner table. Mostly, because the parents do it, too.
Pew Research found teens send an average of 3,000 a month. If you have a daughter, you might not be surprised to know that teen girls text more than boys, the research shows.
So far, I haven’t made our bathrooms text-free zones. I’m still considering it. My kids take their phones in to the bathroom with them. I caught my daughter opening the shower curtain because she couldn’t wait the five minutes until she finished to see the text that just arrived on her phone.
My friend recently created a drop box in front of her patio door for cell phones. She doesn’t think they have any business outside by the pool where people should be enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. I kind of like that idea.
What are your thoughts on text-free zones at home? Do you think they are too difficult to enforce?