- We had to be able to find it. Because he left school at 9 years old. And he continues to do it: he was unnerving and still is. But we can find him now, which is crucial to my sanity.
- He needed a reward that he cared about. Nothing made an impact. But a phone and new apps and music and… she loves it all… And with the VUDU movie a month we get with the Walmart Family Mobile PLUS plan, we can use that as an added reward (I mean, who doesn’t want a new movie from watch on our Smart TV, game console, ROKU, tablet or laptop?!).
- We needed a distraction tool. Because I can only play with a child for so long before I need a break. BAD. (this probably makes me a bad parent, but I don’t care, it’s the truth! LOL!)
- He needed to know we were available. Like a security blanket, but with dialing and texting capabilities.
- We needed him to want some accountability. Because he didn’t know any before us and teaching it is very difficult when it is not grounded from the beginning. She was very resistant to keeping up with his stuff, right down to the phone.
Finding a solution
My entire goal behind this article is to leave you with a solution that works for you. Since I can’t know your exact situation, here are some ideas.
If you think your child isn’t mature enough for a phone yet, don’t give them a phone. If there’s no real need for a phone (i.e. your child doesn’t go to any events by themselves), then there’s no real reason for a phone.
Dear your teenager:
My teenager brings her phone to her room at night. I’m worried she’s making her sleep poorly, but how do I delete this and take away my teenage daughter’s cell phone at night? Her answer is always: “Why don’t you trust me?” Is there a peaceful way to remove devices?
The research is clear: when teenagers have screens in their bedrooms, this interferes with their sleep. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that children between the ages of 6 and 18 had an 88% greater risk of not getting enough sleep when devices were in the bedroom and a greater risk of 53% of sleeping poorly at night—and when devices were in the bedroom only three nights a week.
Having conversations. It is you who are responsible for your child’s education. Then maintain a dialogue by discussing what is right and wrong in terms of technology. Explain the dangers of sexting, predators and malware apps. Listen to your child, ask questions and make sure they are aware of cell phone misuse.
Check your phone. Agree with your pre-teen that you know the device password and can hack the phone at any time without warning. From time to time looking through used apps as well as calls and messages. If you come across bad text or an indecent image, talk about it. Teach your child to be responsible and to face challenges.
Between the ages of 8 and 11, 21% of children have a social media profile.
Between the ages of 12 and 15, 71% of online users have a social media profile.