3 reasons I took away my daughter’s iPhone and why she PROBABLY won’t be getting it back — I think I’ve been honest about my desire to be the cool mom. To be the mom that gives my kids freedom, choice and who doesn’t hover or ask too many questions. I want to be that mom who allows them to develop their individual styles and tastes and doesn’t project her wants and desires onto them.
I try to be that mom who is cognizant that these kids of mine- are not chattel. They are not truly mine, they are on loan, they are a gift, they are my chance to help shape two little beings who I will send out to the world and will hopefully become productive citizens of the world. Which is why I have decided that we are at a point in our family where technology has begun to engulf us, and if I don’t physically remove this technology I’m not sure I will ever be able to get my daughter back on track.
Keep reading for 3 reasons I took away my daughter’s iPhone and why she PROBABLY won’t be getting it back
3 reasons I took away my daughter’s iPhone and why she PROBABLY won’t be getting it back
#1 She’s obsessed with it. She literally cannot live without it, her head is always looking down at her phone. She is always texting. She has forgotten how to make eye contact with us. She had forgotten how to exist without being plugged into this fantasy world of Twitterlebrities.
# 2 Her behavior does not warrant her the privilege of having a cell phone with internet access. When we got her this phone it was so she would be able to text us when she was away from us. So that we could stay in contact with her and feel safer knowing if we needed to reach her or if she needed to reach us we had a life line. But since getting her phone, and installing internet on said phone, she has become socially withdrawn from us, and yes a tad disrespectful. I feel as though her phone and the life she inhabits while on it gives her a false sense of just how old she is- and she forgets she is still a kid and living under our rules. Having a phone has sped up her maturity, in ways that don’t feel natural to me, and I want to SLOW IT DOWN.
#3 We want her to be more present in real time and in real life and interact without technology. It sounds crazy but, I need to see her without her phone in her hand at all hours of the day. I want her to read more. I want her to interact with her brother and her fursiblings more. I want her to practice her dance routines and stretch when she’s not in class. I just want her to be more present and to not have these years be spent living vicariously through a touch screen.
We finally broke down and got our 15 year old a phone a few months ago. The first month she was infatuated with it and texted a few thousand times (I think about 4000), but then she settled down (plus it was summer and most of her school friends were away on and off). I will monitor her usage this month (now that school started again), and so far she is doing okay … very low usage. The one issue I have is that I age her access to Netflix on her phone and she is using it quite a lot … watching the vampire stuff that she loves and watching all previous seasons of Greys Anatomy. She does not bring her phone to meals and once a week for 25 hours (our sabbath) she doesn’t even touch it. Nevertheless, at least once or twice a week we have to “yell” at her to get off the phone/netflix/whatever and go do something else (like help a sibling with homework, set the table, clean her room, put away her laundry, etc). She’s not big on social media thank God.
I dread getting our 13 year old a phone because *she* will also succumb to the social media stuff and it will be terrible. Even now, she sneaks one of the other phones (or iPod Touches) in the house and gets onto Instagram to check stuff out. Even our 11 year old created an Instagram account on one of the phones, but we don’t allow her to use it.
Thank gd for that SABBATH BREAK! I think we need to be on these kids like white on rice when it comes to technology! I feel you on EVERY SINGLE LEVEL.
Good for you as a parent in doing this. People of all ages are not interacting except through social media. I see people texting each other when they are sitting next to each other.
Amber Myers says
That’s smart. I might have to do the same with my daughter. Granted, she’s 11 and is not on it all the time now. She at least goes outside and plays. But if she ever becomes obsessed with it, I’m taking it away for a bit.
As a parent I believe these are all great reasons to take away your child’s cell phone. I feel that children today really struggle with being present.
Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh says
When my oldest daughter was a younger teen, she had her phone taken away from her many times, for various reasons and lengths of time. I always enjoyed her after the few days of hell she enstilled upon us because we had basically ruined her life. Ha! She was a much nicer person. The attitude subsided, and the grades started going back up. It’s really sad the life so many teens live because they are living day by day on what everyone else is doing, and not living a life of their own, thanks to their phone. My daughter was always mad that we weren’t doing XYZ that her friends were doing. The thing was, when we did XYZ she was always texting and posting about it, so she wasn’t actually participating in life.
valmg @ Mom Knows It All says
As the parent and the person paying the bill you have that right to take it away. I’ve seen some parents say having their kids earn limited amounts of time works for them, maybe that’s something to consider.
I think I will be definitely the same way. I worry about too much technology I think a lot of times it takes away from other loves that they may not even know they have. I think what you’re doing is a very good idea.
Tomi C says
I can TOTALLY relate to this. My kid’s obsession was so bad he was profiled on GMA, Nightline, NBC Evening News https://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/kid-addicted-cellphone/story?id=39423836.
I was so sure he was addicted. I mean he was ALWAYS on his phone. His grades began to slip and even when we took his phone away it was just as bad. We did what we thought was right. He had to learn to manage his phone time so it didn’t consume every aspect of his life. I was really worried about my kid. Fast forward 2 years later and this kid is graduating high school with honors and heading to college with several academic scholarships. Granted he’s still always on his phone. He’s a good kid and he’s doing his work but he’s had to learn to effectively manage his phone time so it’s a tool not his life.
Karen Morse says
Teens really have a difficult time balancing their life online and offline and it’s good that you did this so she can learn how to interact with you guys still and how important it is to do so. They’re going to lose a lot of relationships from this kind of lifestyle.
We took our daughter’s away for similar reasons, but then gave it back after two months. I now wish we had not given it back.
Lisa Favre says
I totally agree with all of your reasons. It’s hard for the younger generation to be in the “now” simply because they are so hooked on their devices! You go, mama!
I completely get it. My boys only have tech when we travel so they don’t bug us but that’s about it. Also, I try to lead by example and not be on my phone when I’m with them.
Franc Ramon says
That’s true, people tend to be so hooked online that they fail to appreciate what happens in real life. I think this is a good move as it’s more important to be connected to the family than online.
chubskulit rose says
I have the same situation with my son, I took his iPhone few weeks ago because he got a C on his report card. Now he is getting back to having straight As again.
Sara Welch says
I love that you did this. When they get out of touch with what the phone is supposed to be for, it is time to real in their attitudes.
Kita Bryant says
I think you did the right thing. You are the one who pays for the phone and she is your daughter; good on you for being responsible for her.
Cyn Gagen says
This wasn’t a problem for me because smartphones weren’t yet really a thing when my daughter was that age. She didn’t even get her first one until she moved to England a few years ago – as a married woman! Well beyond my scope as her mother. I have to say, though, this sounds like exactly how I would have felt and exactly how I would have behaved. I know my daughter shares a similar point of view – not wanting her children to be disconnected and lost behind a screen – so I think this may be a battle she faces when her son gets older. Although by then maybe smartphones won’t even exist! lol
I absolutely support your decision and I think you did the right thing! I wish someone could take away my iphone 🙂
Carol Cassara says
Kids need to learn how to unplug too, not just the adults. I think it’s a good practice and I hope she realizes that she needs to be more present especially during family time.
Bohemian Babushka says
Wow and Woah. Good for you and great for her! Thankfully The Trio were born before all this technology so BB didn’t have to with that problem. Right now The Grands aren’t into social media, but the YouTube watching is unreal. BB2U