Thursday, October 29, 2015
Teen iPhone Be Gone: TBT with a Lesson
Waaaay back in the Nineties:
When I was in high school...maybe middle school (but I doubt it)... I would talk on the phone for hours--into the wee hours of the morning....on the WEEKEND. I didn't just play around after school on the phone. I didn't have instantaneous chats with my friends at all moments of the day. The drama of school and gossip and stressors was literally left at the school curb.
Flashforward to Present Day:
There's only one thing that my husband and I can take away from our teenage son as a consequence...have any guesses?
Yep. That is his entertainment, his social media link, his chat board with friends, his radio, his calculator his...everything.
I have heard it said that teenagers actually NEED social interaction with their friends on a frequent basis. That, it helps with self-esteem and growing up. Isolating them is a no-no, because they feel out of the loop with the going-ons at school, peers, and the world.
I know EXACTLY how that might feel. It's no fun to be an island. So, I have been very careful when it comes to dishing out a consequence that involves taking away the device.
But you know what, sometimes the popular parenting research doesn't measure up to the uniqueness of your kid, your situation, and your own experience as a teen waaaay back when.
The other day, my son earned a major consequence....and like I said before, the only thing that's major to him, is his phone. Usual punishment is to limit his time on it more than normal. Don't want to isolate the poor boy (um...please coat that last sentence in syrupy sarcasm). But his behavior deserved a major kick in the SD card...seriously. I would have thrown the stupid phone in the trash if it didn't cost so dang much.
While our son stewed upstairs, wondering what our new terms would be for his lost attachment to his palm...my husband skimmed through his texts and social media...yeah, you might not agree with this invasion of privacy, but that's a whole other blog post.
You know what? All those things I mentioned that I left at the school curb in my day?? My son brings home with him...and they are with him from the time he steps into our "safe place" (read my last post if you wonder), until we pry the dang thing from his hands before bed. No wonder the kid has been a bear to live with! The kid has the weight of the social pressure with him all day, all afternoon, and all night long!
So, we've taken his phone without telling him when he will get it back. And honestly, I don't know if I want to even go there yet.
The kid has been....a kid again. He has been relaxed, happy, goofy, and actually talkative. The stress has literally been cut off with the power button.
In this new frontier of technology gripping the minds, hearts, and hands of our kids, is the consequence of going with the flow bigger than the privilege of living in such convenience?
I am sure my son will get his phone back...eventually. But it's going to be with much different restrictions than before.
I like having the kid back. This Throwback Thursday is pre-iPhone, pre-social media, pre-teen. Because sometimes, the past has its perks.