I often hear from my students that their parents punish them by taking away their phones. Students, of course advocate that it is not effective or fair. In this article I was surprise to discover the science supporting the idea of not taking the phone and how we, as adults, can “teach the lesson” in a better way.
If you’re feeling frustrated (or even downright angry) that your teen seems addicted to their phone, that they never look up long enough to have a decent conversation or that, in some ways, their phone is interfering with their responsibilities at home, at school or in life, in general, you’re not alone. In fact, it’s a huge source of frustration and tension for a lot of parents.
So, when your teen blows off taking out the garbage after you’ve asked them three times because they’re too busy scrolling through TikTok videos or they failed a big test because they got lost scrolling through Instagram instead of studying, it’s only natural to want to take their phone away.
After all, we want the punishment we’re doling out to really sink in, and what better way is there to “hit them where it hurts” than by confiscating the one thing that you know is going to be a huge deal to them. Some parents even call the consequence of taking their teen’s phone away, the “nuclear option.”
However, according to some experts, parents need to consider the impact taking their teen’s phone away has not only on their teen but also on the relationship they have with their teen.