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4 Cell Phone Etiquette Tips To Teach Your Kids Before Giving Them a Phone

Cell phone etiquette for kids is a thing. It may seem silly, but before we give our kids a cell phone, we must teach them how to use it properly.

Many years ago, we gave our daughter a cheap cell phone. She was YOUNG, but the phone was cheap and the service was monthly so we thought why not. What we didn’t think about is that our daughter, Z has no idea about the basics of cell phone etiquette. She would call people, take all kinds of photos (like of me, cleaning – please no!) and so on.

cell phone etiquette for kids 2 girls playing on a cell phone making funny faces

The second go around when we gave our kids a phone, we did 2 things.

1. Made our kids sign a cell phone contract.
2. Taught our kids basic tips on cell phone etiquette.

This post was originally written before our kids had smart phones. Here are some more things we have learned since giving our kids phones.

Cell Phone Etiquette for Kids

Here are the tips that we shared with our kids. I hope they are helpful to you. Parenting is can be a challenge, but just remember – it’s our job to raise our kids to be good people and show them the right way to do things, even things like how to properly use a cell phone.

cell phone etiquette for kids

1. Times for Cell Phone Usage

Set times for your kid to use their phone!

Decide when your child can use their phone. My daughter was calling or texting (or BOTH) at 6:30 am in the morning. I am NOT a morning person, so this frustrated me to no end knowing that she was waking people up! I heard ALL about it from family members. While they wanted to hear from Z – they didn’t care to hear from her so darn early in the morning!

This past year, I was reminded of setting cell phone times on phones when my darling niece proceeded to call and text me 10 times early in the morning. “GOOD MORNING” “HAVE Z CALL ME” “ARE YOU AWAKE?” “HELLO?” 10 minutes later “GOOD EVENING”.  It’s really funny and cute – but not when you are sound a sleep.

2. Texting

Explain texting to your child. 

Texting is the new phone call. Teach your child about how to spell b4 they get into the txt habit of short cuts.

On a similar note to the last cell phone etiquette tip, teach your child how to text one time not fifty times. 

3. Photos

Explain to your child what photos are okay to take and what photos you DO NOT take.

While yes, sexting is a NO, teach your child what is appropriate. For instance, taking a photo of your brother’s BUTT is a no, even if it’s covered and even if you think it would be funny to send to a cousin – NO. Decide on boundaries in your house, such as do you allow photos in the bathroom (toilet pics, clothed are a thing and I have no idea why!), or in swim suits or pajamas? Those are answers you will need to come up with and decide best what is for your family.

4. Cell Phone Contacts

Decide who your child can give their phone number to and what contacts will be in their cell phone.


My daughter was giving her cell phone number to everyone she could at school. We quickly nixed this. We put the contacts in her phone of who she could call. We only put contacts in that knew would let us know if she got too annoying with the phone. Those were our rules, decide what is best for your child.

Kids Learn From Somewhere

These tips may seem like common sense, but kids really just don’t know. Believe me, your family will thank you if you at least just put a limit on times for usage.

Nothing like a niece wake-up call, proceeded by 20 texts. *I really do love my niece, it is just hard for me to show love before 9 am.)

Teaching them kids basic common sense tips for using their phone is what we are talking about today in our kids and technology series

What Cell Phone Etiquette Tips Would You Add to the List?

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