The Substance of Faith

The Substance of Faith

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The Weapon in Your Child’s Hands


In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Leonard Sax points out that parents give their pre-teens and teens a new weapon capable of destroying a life.  They rarely train or monitor their teen’s use of the weapon.  Therefore they never realize that the weapon has been  misused or abused until it is too late, maybe even causing self-inflicted wounds to their child.

What is it?  A mobile device, such as an iPhone.

Teens bully and are bullied by cell phone.  Personal communication gets in the wrong hands and goes viral, leaving a teen humiliated and defenseless.   A prank intended as harmless ruins a life. It happens overnight.    If you are a parent with a teen who carries a cell phone, how many conversations do you need with other parents before you discover the misuse of a phone?  Not many.  This is a powerful and creative tool than can be turned into a weapon as quick as a Google search.

cell phone graphic

Parents have nothing from their teen years analogues to the power of today’s cell phones.  This fact may make parent less knowledgeable  of the changing ways teens use them, but it makes them no less responsible for how their teens use them.  In a point-blank statement, Sax says, “I blame their parents. The parents provided their kids with cellphones capable of taking, sending and receiving photographs, but they provided no oversight.”  If you allow your teens to own and carry a phone, you, the parent, have responsibility for how they use it. 

If you have a teen with a cell phone, consider reading the original Leonard Sax  article, linked here.

Read it and then have the moral courage to put a contract in place with your child about how they can use it and how you plan to monitor it.  Let your love for your children (and their friends) override the disappointment they will express at your perceived restrictions.  Don’t let your failure of nerve be the reason that someone gets hurt by the phone in your child’s hands.

Here is one of the more famous parent/child cell phone contracts on the internet.  It is a good place to start.




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