1. WendyM


    When my husband and I grew up, the rule was, “no phone use before 9am or after 9pm”. This ensures family time and appropriate rest.

    With cell phones, kids are keeping them on all night long interrupting much needed rest. Academic demands are greater and so are distractions! The problem my husband and I are having is that even with business contacts the expectation is for an immediate response. Are there guidelines similar to what we grew up with (9am and 9pm) for reference for teenagers?

    We have been using our cell phone provider’s “restrictions” option but our kids are not able to even see if/when someone attempts to contact them with this activated. There are mornings they will not have a ride to school and they do not know until late because people believe they received their text during a restricted period.

    Just curious how others are managing this with their teenagers. Problem seems to be more with others not adhering to similar practices that makes it difficult for our kids to uphold this value.

    Thank you.

    • Elizabeth

      Your kids will meet a lot of people in their lifetimes whose values, rules, and norms are different than their own. The issue here seems to be for them to figure out how to operate in a world where some people do follow different rules. You have very good reasons for wanting to limit phone time, and other parents probably have decent reasons for why they go about things differently. The problem here seems to be less about ethics than simple pragmatics – you limit their use of the cell phone, and their friends still call and text outside of those limits. Why not have a central yet out of the way spot for the phones to be deposited every night. This can be where the phones are placed in their chargers. The phones go on silent every evening, but are not restricted from accepting texts and calls, so the kids can still get the messages in the morning. (though, 9am is a bit late since school starts much earlier than that. 9am on the weekends makes sense, though) The phones should be out of sight, out of mind.

    • Lady Antipode

      If at all possible, I suggest removing the cell phones from the teenagers’ rooms or possession, and leaving them on silent for the night.

      If this isn’t possible, then make sure that your teenagers tell friends, friends’ parents etc, that no messages or calls are to be received after 9pm or the teenager will get in serious trouble. Allow yourselves to be the bad guy on this. After a while, the friends etc will stop contacting your teenagers at these times. And make sure the cell phone is kept on silent on the other side of the teenagers’ rooms.

      In addition (and slightly more dramatic), if it rings after hours, you answer it and be very cranky when doing so. Any other time, make sure you give your teenagers space on the phone. The friends will stop calling once they figure it out.

  2. Ita

    The Mayor of our town is a Doctor. When signing official documents he signs with the following Doctor, Mayor followed by his name.

    How should he sign his official town documents?

    • Elizabeth

      This is just a guess, but it would make sense for him to sign as Mayor John Smith, M.D., and not Dr. John Smith, because he is signing in his capacity as Mayor and not in his capacity as a doctor. He could even leave the M.D. off.

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