Taking the phone away sometimes might feel like the most appropriate response to certain situations that your teenager puts you in. Besides, nothing else even comes close to the value teenagers attach with their cellphones, does it? So it’s understandable that restricting usage or taking phone away from teenager completely is your standard, go-to punishment.
However, this has a huge downside to it as well. Phones aren’t just devices for entertainment and recreation anymore. Teenagers and young adults depend on them for their homework, socialization and staying up to date with coursework or news. This makes you wonder, whether it’s a viable punishment or a harsh restriction that may end up doing more harm than good. Can you think of other alternatives? We’ll help you do so. Here are 5 alternatives to taking the phone away from teens:
Setting up boundaries from the start
Before your teenage child ends up with their phone taken away for a month, at least give them a chance to get better. It’s important to first decide on a definite set of parameters before finally moving towards the extreme. Your teenager might end up wondering why do parents take away phones for no reason at all. Therefore, you should build a model of reward and punishment before taking any steps. This framework of understanding like cell phone rules for a 14 year-old will help you establish a great relationship, a better connection and ensure two-way communication.
Devise fitting and productive punishments
When you devise a punishment for something, make sure it fits well with what your child does. If you make them feel that what you’re doing is unnecessary, they will drift away and become more distant. For instance, it’s not okay for you to take your teen’s phone away for coming home late. If their behavior has nothing to do with cellphones, it won’t have any effect on them. Instead, come up with other productive ways to discipline them.
Limit internet times.
Teenagers mostly don’t utilize data connections and instead use home WiFi networks to surf the internet. This means that you can get access to the parental controls of your internet device. Ask your internet service provider to help you in this regard or watch a few tutorials on the internet regarding your device. It can help you block your teenager’s internet connection after a certain time at night, forcing them to follow their sleeping routines and wake up fresh during school days. Remember not to be too harsh on them and entertain their requests from time to time especially when they have school homework or projects to do.
Collect the phones at night only
You’ll encounter many teens saying my parents take my phone away at night. It’s a pretty common thing and generally. Unless you’re absolutely sure that your kids put their phones away on time, it’s definitely something that you can do. Besides, it’s a very healthy thing to do as well since the cellphone light inhibits melatonin production in the brain, delaying sleep timings and in severe cases, causing insomnia.