Cell Phone Convo Starters

Conversation Starters for younger youth

Screens are virtually unavoidable. Not only have they become a critical tool for communication between adolescents (and adults), tech and the use of screens in place of textbooks, in-class learning, and at-home assignments hit schools like a tidal wave in recent years. And let’s face it, sometimes allowing a child to have some screen time is also a coping mechanism for a caregiver to occupy their youth. Start conversations with them about the positive and negative effects of screen time early and consider evaluating your own screen usage with a critical eye.

Conversation Starters for preteens and teens

Involve them! Discuss screen time with them, and help bring awareness by engaging them in evaluating their own screen usage. Preteens and teens are often more aware than we give them credit for, and may even have concerns about their own tech usage. Whether they do or don’t, helping them understand what their caregivers believe to be appropriate, healthy, and reasonable can help them monitor their own usage. Establishing rules and boundaries are not always welcomed by preteens and teens. Ongoing conversations about the use of digital devices are critical to establish good digital safety, citizenship, and wellness.

  • “What apps are you on the most? Which apps have you downloaded?”
  • “How much time a day do you feel is appropriate to be on your phone? What are some things you can do to manage your cell phone usage?”
  • “Do you know everyone personally in your contacts on your phone, social, and gaming apps? Have you ever given your cell phone number to anyone that you’ve met online?”
  • “Do you know how to turn off your notifications, and turn on your privacy settings within your cell phone settings?”
  • “Has anyone ever taken a picture of you that you didn’t particularly like or were embarrassed about? Have you taken one that someone else did not like? Think about how that feels if this person did not ask your permission to keep the picture or post it online?”
  • “What would you do if someone sent you a text or picture that was inappropriate?”
  • “What would you do if you clicked a link that you thought a “friend” sent you and found out that it did not come from your friend?”