How can I get my kids to put down their phones?

Staying in touch with friends is important to tweens and teens -- when we were teens, we talked for hours on the phone! Now the same kind of contact happens through texting. And, as annoying as it can be to see your kids jabbing away at their phones, it's a normal part of life.

However, if cell phone use is getting in the way of family time, homework, and other responsibilities, it might be time to help your kid manage his or her phone time.

Help kids find space for face-to-face conversations. Put phones down during key conversation times such as dinner or car rides.

Model the manners and behavior you want to see. Avoid texting in the car. Consider narrating your phone use ("I'm looking up directions to the party") so young kids understand the utility of the device. Make sure to excuse yourself if you have to interrupt a family moment to attend to your phone.

Charge kids' phones in your room at night. Removing their phones can give kids a needed break.

Establish consequences for problematic phone use. If your kids are having trouble putting the phone away when you ask or are engaging in other problematic phone-related behavior, consider instituting temporary time or location limits. Some wireless carriers offer parental controls that let you set daily phone-use limits, and some apps can disable your kid's phone when he or she hits a limit.

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Comments

Teen, 13 years old written by OliRan321

Unfortunately for my generation, parents these days don't understand that when they were kids they didn't need this technology because no one had it. Their friends were outside playing a game of soccer or ready to go to the park. They don't get that in today's generation there isn't much to do off devices like phones and tablets. I hate to admit it but it's the truth, our generation has turned into the generation of technology. I think that proving other means of entertainment could work as long as it's something they would like. So instead of just taking away their phone and leaving them, provide ideas for what they could do.
Teen, 13 years old written by princessd73

Quarantine your kids away from their phones for a few weeks every few months or so- about twice a year should do it. It works. I know from experience.
Teen, 14 years old written by LostInPLace

As a teen and a guy who has "screen time" for set times in the day and in general, i think I can say what a teen will agree with and how to get it done without arguments and frustration. Make sure to consult the teen about what your going to do. Communication is a vital part of this process and giving the teen a hand in this will stop many arguments. Just be prepared to compromise and don't get hard headed. Try and be open to our ideas and we will be open to yours. And once you have a system in place, stick to it, so we know where we stand and are wayyyyy less likely to argue. But in this system, I suggest giving them a lot more time on the weekend to have with there phone (mostly at night, because you should/ might be doing something at the weekend). It is our favourite time to talk to our friends and is a nice relaxing time for us. Just keep up a system, Maybe trow in extra time for doing chores, and you should be set.
Parent of a 13 year old written by fleecy34

If you are having trouble with there phones give them 3 5min warnings and then just ban them from it for a week
Teen, 14 years old written by Kaylee O.

I am a teen, and when I had a phone, I don't have one now, my parents got it for me for Christmas, so I would treat it as a present. It was a pay-ahead texting phone. My dad set me up with a plan for unlimited texting for a certain amount each month. The catch? I had to pay for the plan. I earned money through chores, and it was enough to pay for my texting. I didn't call and my parents owned the phone, so if they had to, they would take it away temporarily as a punishment. I don't have a cellphone now because when I have a personal device, I am on it too much. Another thing my parents use is that once I'm finished with my homework/chores, if I'm behind, I can be on the phone/device. It really depends on the kid though, what works for some, might not for others, so these are just suggestions.
written by Jimmy brew

Tell them to put it away or you punish them like this "hey,put that stupid phone away immediately or you're grounded"
Kid, 10 years old

I'm a kid my mom did take off my door maybe you should start being more strict it's up to you