Although many teenagers consider having a smartphone as their legitimate right, there is no doubt that owning a phone is a privilege that not all children may deserve. There are many times when withdrawing privileges is the best thing you can do to your teen. As an educator, you should watch for signs that your son’s use of his smartphone has a negative impact on his behavior, his academic achievement, his social life, and his daily activities in general.
Therefore, we will give you 9 reasons to intervene and determine the times and rules for your son’s use of his smartphone, citing a site Very Well Family American:
1- Your kid is breaking the phone usage rules
If your kid uses the phone for long times or in ways that are not satisfying to you, the reason may be that your laws are not clear about him or there are no consequences for this. It is important to set clear rules for smartphone use to define your expectations. It should set clear general rules of etiquette, such as not using it, chatting and texting while eating dinner, as well as rules regarding safety and security.
The rules should also address the financial side, as your teenager must bear the financial responsibility and costs if he exceeds the data limit due to downloading movies, or if he needs a new phone because he lost his phone, for example. You can also withdraw the privilege of owning a phone from him until he pays the bills or is able to buy a new phone.
2- Your son’s academic grades are affected
If your son’s GPA starts to drop, pulling out his phone might be an appropriate response. Putting an end to phone use for some time will mean less distractions while doing your homework.
But most importantly, you can use the phone as your motivation for high scores. You could say to him, for example: “When you have done all your duties, you can take back your phone.” Thus earning the privilege of having the phone can be the motivation needed to work hard on homework.
3- Your son has difficulty sleeping
While all electronics prevent us from getting a good night’s sleep, smartphones are a problem in their own right. And if your teen is struggling to get up for school in the morning or is getting too late on the weekends, that could be a sign that his phone is keeping him up at night.
It could be because he’s texting friends in the middle of the night or checking social networks when he wakes up at two in the morning. So don’t let your teenager sleep with his smartphone in the room.
Establish a rule requiring all smartphones to be turned off at a certain hour, for example, at nine in the evening. Then charge phones in the kitchen or any other public room during the night hours, then your son won’t feel compelled to engage in conversations with his friends late at night.
4- To publish information that should not be published
If your teen is using his smartphone to share inappropriate messages on social networks, or if you learn that he is giving his address to strangers, you should intervene. Not only may your son destroy his online reputation, but he may also be involved in activities that are harmful and dangerous to his life.
Establish clear rules for posting information on social networks and sharing information on the Internet. Most importantly, explain to your son your motivations, how dangerous it is for sharing such information or pictures, and the potential consequences of over-sharing private things.
In addition, he spoke to him about the dangers of spreading rumors, cyberbullying, and engaging in inappropriate conversations. Discuss how people sometimes say things on the Internet that they don’t actually say, and make sure he knows how harmful the irresponsible use of these networks can be.
5- It seems that your son has become addicted to his phone
There are reasons why teens continue to feel the need to be on social networks. Positive interaction with them or receiving a quick message gives them a boost of confidence and satisfaction. So they keep coming back to it for more positive comments.
But being attracted to a smartphone all day can be a real problem. And if your son sends and receives messages, browses his phone, and engages in games in a way that interferes with the completion of his daily tasks, set some healthy limits for the time allowed to use the phone.
It might be a good idea to set up a screen-free weekend for the whole family, or make Saturdays phone-free. Activities that do not include any technology can be devised to remind yourself and your family that they can spend a pleasant and enjoyable time away from phones.
6- Having an obsession with taking self-portraits
While taking a selfie might not seem harmful, indulging in it constantly can cause multiple problems. And the task of capturing the perfect photo can become a real obsession for some teens.
For others, the desire to take a stunning photo leads to dangerous decisions. Some teens risk their lives to take a selfie on a high ledge or while performing dangerous moves, all in an effort to attract attention and admiration.
Therefore, if you notice the emergence of this obsession in your son, hurry to intervene and explain its dangers and listen to your children about why they attach to these pictures and boost their self-confidence.
7- That his self-esteem be linked to his activities on social networks
Some teens are increasingly relying on social networks to fuel their self-confidence. And when they receive positive comments and likes online, they feel good. When they do not attract enough positive attention, their self-esteem collapses.
And some teens create Internet characters that differ from their real life. They create accounts with fake names on social networks or talk to strangers with false pretenses because they enjoy impersonating other people.
It is dangerous for teens to derive their self-esteem from their activities on the Internet. Not only do they expose themselves to cyber danger – such as bullying – but they also measure their self-worth according to unhealthy criteria. It is important to help your teen feel confident in who he is as a person, not according to how he feels dependent on his presence on the Internet.
8- To miss real life
Whether you are on vacation in a mountain or by the sea or attending a professional sporting event, it has become common to see teenagers immersed in their own world on their phones. It’s also common to see teens ignore people in front of them in order to send a text message over the phone.
If your teenager’s use of his phone goes beyond being a tool for entertainment sometimes or to spend some tasks, and turns into something that hinders the practice of life activities, then put an end to this use. He may need your help in setting limits on how long he is allowed to stare at his phone when he loses control of himself.
9- To use his phone while driving a car
If your kid can’t resist responding to text messages while driving, or browsing social networks every time he stands at traffic lights, his phone could have serious and dangerous consequences. Follow a strict policy completely and allow phone use while driving.
Whether you put an app that prevents him from using the phone, or by telling him to put his phone in the car compartment; Talk to him about the dangers of driving with a distracted mind. And if your teen is not mature enough to follow the rules, he is not yet mature to drive. Then you may need to revoke your driving privilege as well as your phone privilege.
Parents have general concerns about withdrawing the phone from their son
There are multiple reasons to hesitate to set strict rules for phone use. Here are some of the most common questions and concerns for parents.
- Can I take his phone if he bought it himself? Yes, because whether his phone was a gift from his grandmother or he bought it from his own money, you can still take it from him as long as he is a minor and lives in your home. Even if he pays his bills, you can still set his phone usage limits.
- What about his safety? Letting your teenager go to school or have him walk down the street without his phone will probably not hurt him. Maybe you yourself grew up without a smartphone. And if there are certain activities where he needs his phone to be more secure, give him his phone only during those times.
- How long should I keep his phone? It depends on the problem. You may only need to pull out your teenager’s phone for a few hours during the day. She might say he can pick up his phone again when his school grades improve or he finishes the housework on time. But make sure you do not punish him indefinitely, as it is counterproductive.
- Do I allow him to use his other electronic devices? If your son is having difficulty maintaining his safety and personal information on social networks or engages in network bullying, you may want to pull out all electronic devices to ensure that they help him improve his behavior and realize the risks of what he is doing.
Technology is a rich resource, help your teen to benefit from it
We cannot deny the fact that a smartphone can help your teen in organizing his life more easily when used correctly.
Monitor your kid’s use of his phone without being spied on. Find educational situations in which you can establish healthy smart device habits.
With proper guidance and supervision, your kid will discover how to integrate technology into his life safely. Just make sure to intervene if your child shows signs of developing unhealthy habits or if his phone is causing him new problems in his life.