Your house your phone rules? A parenting dilemma?

Your house your phone rules?  A parenting dilemma?

 As member of a team of influencers, I received the Droid Turbo. All opinions are 100% my own. #MoreVA #VZWBuzz
Parenting these days is a lot more complicated than when we were kids. Parents could just disconnect the house phone and you were out of business. The television was really the only other thing that could get you in trouble, but the content was pretty limited. I recently had a challenging parenting decision when my 13-year-old had a sleepover last fall and it was my husband’s and my decision to make it an old-fashioned sleep over. We basically wanted to limit their smart phone use and have the kids engaged in each other instead of screens. In order to accomplish this I made sure that my daughter had plenty of old-fashioned teenage activities, such as movies, snacks, activities that would hopefully distract the kids from sitting around looking at their phones and not conversing with one another. However, we also debated whether or not to ask the kids to surrender their phones at 10 pm, our house rule…

smart-phone-rules

I posted this parenting decision on my Facebook page and was amazed how much attention it was given. Wireless phones have become such a huge focus for this generation that I think they are losing some basic social skills. We wanted to be sure they were able to giggle and laugh with a bunch of their girlfriends without searching instagram until late at night.

We were not asking the girls to lock up their phones in a safe that we had the only key, simply to put them on our kitchen table at 10pm. They were in the basement and would had access to them as well as our land line phone, remember those.

I emailed all the parents before the party and let them know our intentions and to let us know if they had an issue with this rule. (We know the parents pretty well). I asked them to also talk to their child about this before they arrived.

Not one parent replied back that they disagreed or would not let their child come to the party. (This was one reaction to my Facebook post.) Only one child sort of whined when I went downstairs and told them to bring their phones upstairs. (2 kids did not even bring their phones)

So basically the result here was that the kids had plenty of time to play with their smart phones but also had a lot of fun doing the things teenagers girls should be doing together: laughing, eating way too much junk food and a little karaoke. They also watched a lot of movies. Thanks to this article about Parenting in the Digital Age from the OnlineMom,  she shared a study that I think you will be shocked at results. As much as your child likes posting photos on Social Sites: 

  •  35% of teens fear being tagged in an unflattering picture
  • 27% stress about their physical appearance in posted photos
  • 22% felt hurt if their photos didn’t generate enough attention

Going to bed feeling confident but nervous I did the right thing, I was so impressed that when I came down in the morning, the phones were still on the counter. I set up a cereal bar for breakfast, more junk food. I hope that the kids go away remembering the fun they had interacting with their friends and not the mean parents that took away their phones.

breakfast-cereal-bar

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So do you think parents should be able to instill their smart phone rules on other kids while at their home or even car? What parenting decisions have you recently dealt with ? 

24 Comments

  1. Kids need to be moderated as it relates to their Phones in these Times. These are all helpful tips .. I think Kids should be allotted phone time base on age

  2. the girls had full access to their phones I just did not want them downstairs with them.

  3. I think it is reasonable to want want your rules followed. My daughter tends to get nervous if she can not reach me at a sleep over so I don’t know I would feel about it though.

  4. We are not there yet in our house. But there will be rules when it comes to them having phones.

  5. I can’t even imagine what the landscape will look like when my girls are teens – it’s just scary!

  6. I am actually afraid of how social media and phones will be when my kids are teenagers.

  7. We got the Verizon credit for turning in old phone! Love Verizon’s customer service and plan choices!

  8. I absolutely agree with your smartphone rule – I do the same thing with my girls, who are younger, but with their tablets. Everyone seems to have one these days! I love the cereal bar idea, btw!

  9. I think that’s a great idea. When my SD still had a tablet she was asked to leave it downstairs just so she’d get some sleep! I’ll have to enforce that next time she has a sleep over – all of her friends have phone and gadgets.

  10. I have very young children now, but I imagine I would have a similar rule when they are older. Technology is taking over our lives, including phones.

  11. Love, love, love! I wish more parents would do this.

  12. I totally agree: your house, your rules… whether others think they’re fair or not.

    You know, it’s not just kids. My husband recently commented that when my sister and her family came to our house to visit, at one point they were all on their phones in our family room. We were all sitting around watching a movie on TV, and my sister, her husband, and my 13 year old niece were all playing with their phones, only half watching the show. I wasn’t personally offended by it, but it’s interesting to think that even though they were there to visit with us, they all still felt the need to connect to the outside world, whether they were texting someone else or surfing social media.

  13. Oh I do so agree. My house . My rules.

  14. I think that was a great idea and I bet the kids had a way better time actually interacting with each other than they would have with their phones. More parents should do this.

  15. Oh, how I love this post! Yes, I definitely think that kids should have rules when they have phones and kids need to learn to communicate with their peers and those around them. I could write a book about this subject, but just know I agree with it 100%….and I love that Breakfast Bar!!!

  16. I totally agree kids should have rules about phone usage. My kids aren’t old enough yet but when they are they can expect to follow my rules or not have a phone!

  17. I lay down the rules for other kids regarding phones when they are with me. (That and tablets.)I have no problem doing so.

  18. Reading this makes me glad I don’t have kids, especially teenagers! 😉 I do think that there should be rules for kids and electronics.

  19. My girls would be lost without their electronic devices. But when they have friends over they engage with their friends. So it is a give and take relationship.

  20. I think rules are so important and 10 pm as a cut off is more than fair in my opinion.

  21. In my opinion, any time kids come to another kid’s house, all house rules should be followed whether it’s bedtime, phone use, or anything else. Your house, your rules.

  22. Good for you! I think I would want to tell all the kids to put their phones on the table at 10 pm…I hope I have the courage to actually do it when the time comes. My oldest is 12, and he has been to a couple sleepovers (without bringing his phone..) but we haven’t had any sleepovers here yet. I think the first one will be in a couple weeks, so we shall see!

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