I was sitting in church the other day and I saw a sight that shocked and appalled me. A woman with a young child sitting next to her was using her cellphone during the minister’s sermon. Now, before I pass judgment, maybe there was an emergency. But I do know this – this wasn’t the first time that I’ve seen parents or children use a smartphone in an inappropriate place at an inappropriate time.

I think that we can all agree that it’s important to set boundaries and limits on smartphone usage, and to pass that knowledge on to our children. Here are some things to keep in mind.

1. We Must Remember That Children Model Our Behavior

If they see us using a smartphone or tablet at a restaurant or church, then they will feel comfortable doing the same. Think about when you’re in the car with your kids. Do you pick up your phone as a force of habit? I know I do. I cannot keep my hands off that thing. Not only is it dangerous while I’m driving, but it sends a message to my children that it’s okay to do that. It’s not.

2. You Control the Device

Having a smartphone or a tablet is a privilege, not a right. It’s easy for parents to forget that. You set the rules on when and how long your child gets to use their device. In life, there are times when using a smartphone is appropriate and times when it’s not. If it’s an inappropriate time, do not let your child have it, no matter how much and how vociferously they protest.

3. For Some Parents, it Seems That a Device is a Babysitter or a Substitute Parent

Granted, it’s easy to hand your child a smartphone, turn it to YouTube or a favorite app and let them veg out. But that’s not reality. By handing them that phone, you are teaching them that it’s okay to disappear into a device when they get upset or anxious or when you don’t want to deal with them.

4. Our Children Need to Learn That Eye Contact is Vital in Life

I have had conversations with teens where I saw their eyes only once or twice during a 5-minute chat. That is simply unacceptable. Again, if your children see you talking to people with your head buried in your phone, that’s a problem. Try to show them the correct way to act and also remind them of why it’s important to show people respect when they’re speaking to you. If someone engages them in conversation, your child should be taught to immediately pause or put down the device and address the person speaking to them.

5. You Need to Set Clear Guidelines on Smartphone Usage

If you don’t want your children to use a device somewhere, make sure they know the rule. Also, don’t break the rule yourself. If there are no devices at the dinner table or at school or during family get-togethers, then that’s the rule. And the entire family needs to follow it.

6. Enforce the Rules

Make sure that your children know that if they fail to follow the rules, punishments or a loss of privileges will follow. It’s the same for any other time that they break the rules, so this situation should not be any different.