8 ideas for creating family cell phone guidelines that rock! — Part 2 of 3

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Words by
Inger Erickson

Published on


Last week, I posted three ideas on how to start talking about family cellphone guidelines, and this week I’ve got three more!

These are my FAVORITES of all eight of them because they’ve made the biggest difference in my relationship with my two kids. They’re guaranteed to win your kids over every. single. time. 🙂

Make It Their Idea

Getting kids to want to do something can be tough, especially if you know they’re not going to want to do it in the first place. So what’s the answer? 

Get them to think your idea is theirs. 

All you need to do is ask the right questions and get them thinking!

  • “What do you think about ______________?” 
  • “What are some of the positive/negative things that can come from doing ______________?”
  • “How can we help each other do better at ______________?” 
  • “How can Mom and Dad do a better job at ______________?” This will be their favorite question of all and there’s an excellent chance that whatever they suggest, they’ll recognize they should do, too.

It really is possible to get your kids to do something they don’t want. It’s all in your approach!


Have you ever heard that being listened to is so close to being loved that many cannot tell the difference? Listening to our kids is one of the greatest gifts we can give them. In fact, it’s one of the greatest gifts we can give anyone!

The sure way to skip the all-to-familiar frustration and contention that accompanies the cell phone discussion is to ask your kids for their opinions, ideas, and advice. Let them know they’ve got your full attention, too!

  • Make direct eye contact.
  • Don’t interrupt. Let them share their ENTIRE thought and wait a few seconds before commenting, so you know they’re totally finished.
  • Repeat back what they’ve said. “Thanks for sharing that! So what I’m hearing you say is that you want to ______________. Is that right?” If you’ve got it wrong, they’ll let you know.


As parents, our comments play a significant role in how our kids feel about themselves, their ability to overcome challenges, and how they treat others. During the cell phone conversation, look for opportunities to build them up and make them feel awesome!

  • Validate their ideas and build their confidence. “That’s a great idea!” “How did you think of that?” 
  • Make them feel knowledgeable. “You’re so smart!” “Wow, you have the best ideas!”
  • Try to understand. Regardless of what they say, let them state their opinion without any judgment or criticism. Even if you don’t agree, you can always comment, “That’s a different way of looking at it. I really appreciate you sharing that.”

Use these three skills with your kids and make the most difficult discussions some of the best!