Thursday, May 21, 2009

Tips for Helping Teens Overcome their Text Addiction

Put the Phone Down and Put your Thumbs in the Air

How parents can help teens overcome their text addiction

Text messaging at the dinner table, in the classroom, at the beach, while driving, and everywhere else has become common practice for teenagers across America. Face to face conversations have become a chore and more parents are growing concerned that not only are their child’s grades suffering, but they are also missing out on valuable real-world experiences. Understanding the need to educate teens on texting responsibly, Predicto Mobile, the largest premium mobile service content provider, has put together a few tips for parents looking to stage an intervention with their text-addicted teens.

1. Have “the talk” – Opening the doors of face to face communication is a big step. Sit them down and express your concerns about the negative affects constant texting is having on them.

2. Help them find a hobby – Many teens use texting as their default solution to boredom. Instead, encourage your child to pursue other activities that they may enjoy, like painting, acting, reading, or athletics.

3. Limited Text Plans – By limiting the number of texts your cellular plan has, you reduce the number of texts your child will be able to send. Limited plans do run the risk of overage charges so make sure your child knows the repercussions of over-texting. If not…

4. Let them foot the bill – If your child texts so much that you end up with thousands of dollars in cell phone charges, having them help pay for part of the bill will teach them responsibility. Texts don’t grow on trees.

5. Film them in the act – Bust out the video camera and film your child every time you catch them with their heads down and their thumbs a blaze. Once you gather enough ‘evidence,’ play them the tape. Allowing them to see how much they are missing may be enough to open their eyes.

6. Text-free zone – Allow certain times where phones aren’t allowed, such as dinner or family outings. This helps teens control how much time they put into texting and when.

7. Avoid the extras – Call your carrier to block third-party applications on your child's handset. Think of it as a V-Chip for the phone. Explain to you children – ringtones, games, apps – they all cost money and can contain explicit content. If an explanation doesn’t cut it, take control and limit the programs and features your child can and cannot access with their phone.

So who is Predicto?

With more than 1.8 million visitors per month, PredictoMobile™ is one of the fastest growing premium mobile services, challenging Americans to predict the right answer to a wide range of pop culture questions, with possibility to win prizes along the way online and via their mobile phone.

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