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My parents find its wrong to chat on cell phone. What should I do?


I love to chat on my cell phone, but my parents always find something wrong with this and take my phone away. Every time I try to get it back, they make excuses. Since I try to talk to some of the people I invite to church on my cell phone, what should I do?óLana, Online

Shayna Answers:

Dear Lana,

I have the sneaking suspicion that there’s a bit more to the story than you’re sharing with me. The reason I say this is that although I believe that you use your phone to witness to others, I’m not convinced that’s the only thing you’re using it for. There’s nothing wrong with talking,

texting, and picture messaging your friends for nonreligious reasons. We just need to talk about everything that might be happening in this situation in order to find a solution.

What you need to do is talk openly and honestly about this with your parents. Set up a time with your parents to talk to them, perhaps one evening after dinner or before going to bed. Share your feelings with your parents, then listen to what your parents have to say. However, before you voice the reasons as to why it might be important for you to keep your phone, be humble enough to admit that you’ve slipped up and misused it at times.

To me it sounds like your parents aren’t coming completely clean with you either. While they may indeed be making excuses and not revealing their real reasons for not wanting you to have a phone, it’s important for everyone to be honest during this conversation. After all, if you don’t know what you’re doing wrong, you can’t improve your behavior!

Ask your parents if there’s a possibility for you to point out some positive ways that you can use your phone. For example, you might need it in case of emergencies, or you may not want to “hog” your family’s home phone line. Whatever your reasons, share them calmly and respectfully. Also, acknowledge if any of your parents’ concerns are valid. Do you sometimes have inappropriate conversations on your phone? go over your minutes? text in class?

In addition to showing that you’re trustworthy with your phone, you also need to show your maturity in other areas of your life. Do your chores without being asked, start your homework before your mom has to pester you about it, and fight less with your siblings. All of these actions—though not related to your cell phone—will show your parents that you are mature enough to be trusted with a phone.

However, if your parents’ final answer is “no,” be willing to accept this.

Circumstances regarding finances may be contributing to your parents’ decision. And “no” right now doesn’t necessarily mean “no” forever. You have to trust that your parents are making the best decision for you.

If you are able to compromise with your parents by, say, only having your phone on weekends or chipping in to pay for monthly costs, do it. If you can’t, resist the urge to roll your eyes, walk away, or say rude things. This will only make the situation worse.

Matthew 28:19, 20 tells us that God is pleased when we use our available means to witness, but we both know that a cell phone isn’t the only way to witness. If you’re not able to have your phone, talk to your friends on your home phone, AIM, Facebook, or theFlow.

Remember that the Holy Spirit works through our efforts to reach others—no matter what means we use.

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