Go Back   Friends and Family Forum > The Family Forum > Children

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old March 15th, 2017, 08:25 AM
ciws14 ciws14 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 4
ciws14 is on a distinguished road
Angry Cell phone & girlfriend...ugh

My son, as most kids his age (16), has a cell phone. Quite a nice cell phone actually. I see kids (and adults) completely oblivious to their surroundings when they are neck down at their phones. He is no different. He is on it constantly. If he isn't on it texting, video chatting, youtubing or facebooking, he is using his tablet to do the same. It seems he is in need of 100% stimulation from electronics. I didn't realize how bad it was until recently.

He has rules with it only to the extent of having it turned "off" and placed on our charging table at 9:30 in the evening. It works out about 80% of the time. What I didn't realize until recently is that he is on it basically from the time he gets home from school until the time he has to turn it in after talking to his girlfriend (That is an entire other story). He will stop to eat dinner then he is back in his room on it. Either talking on the phone or video chatting. He has even walked around the house while on the phone with his earbuds in without us knowing as his mother and I have a conversation. That really gets me steamed. I've outlawed that obviously now but I still feel compelled to ask him if he is "on it" when he comes out of his room. I like to verify that as I would rather not our conversations be heard by others at times. I have to make him leave it in the car when we go to church. I have to make sure he leaves it in the house when we do chores on the farm because, again, he is oblivious to his surrounds. Which is incredibly dangerous around the equipment.

He is really distracted right now with his new girlfriend. She is so reachable with the ease of the cell phone. It's quite disturbing how little is pays attention to anything anymore.

He has always had a phone and used it a lot. No more than average kids, but still a lot. It has really become out of control since he has acquired this girlfriend. The girlfriend thing is a whole other problem (her parents mainly) of which I am trying to find a solution too, so stand by for that query. LOL.

I really feel like I failed someplace by even agreeing to get him the phone. I feel like i've lost touch with him right under my nose. I'm to the point that I want to start setting significant restrictions on the phone usage. The phone company has a parental feature you can utilize.

I am looking for suggestions on setting limitations. He is a good kid with the exception of a wet towel on the floor every now and then. The cell phone/ girlfriend thing completely almost negates the positives in him as it is so out of control.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old March 15th, 2017, 09:11 AM
KayKay's Avatar
KayKay KayKay is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,831
KayKay has a reputation beyond reputeKayKay has a reputation beyond reputeKayKay has a reputation beyond reputeKayKay has a reputation beyond reputeKayKay has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Cell phone & girlfriend...ugh

Is it bad if I tell you that I think you are doing a really good job as it is? The fact that he turns it in at night, leaves it in the car for church and in the house for chores is better than most kids that age that I see. That is such a tough age, because it's a time when kids start to developing a life outside of their parents' knowledge. Cell phones have really changed how people relate to each other.

The bigger concern I would have is what he's doing on the phone. At 16 and with a girlfriend, the temptation for sexting and all kinds of other behaviors is large. Do you have a way to monitor that?

When does he do homework? Is his school performance suffering? Is he as distracted by his phone during school? That might be a question for his teachers, with his time with the phone curtailed if he isn't doing what he needs to be doing at school.

Does he have a driver's license? I'd also be worried about his addiction to his cell phone with respect to paying attention to the road. If he doesn't have a license yet, maybe you can tell him he won't be getting one until you are sure that he can put the phone down long enough to not drive distracted.

I'm not being very helpful, I'm afraid, because I can't really think of a solution. Maybe you can arrange with the phone company to have limited data usage on his phone? Put a password on the wifi at home?
__________________
Expecto Patronum!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old March 15th, 2017, 09:29 AM
LucyVanPelt's Avatar
LucyVanPelt LucyVanPelt is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 9,123
LucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond reputeLucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond reputeLucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond reputeLucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond reputeLucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond reputeLucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Cell phone & girlfriend...ugh

Ugh, I can feel your frustration! I have 3 children, 2 are in their 20's now. This is worked for us:

We have strict rules in the house which go along the lines of phone usage when I was growing up, in the dark ages, before technology when we were still tied to the wall when using the phone!

I never allowed phone or computer usage in the bedrooms. I try to balance their need for privacy with my duty to help them grow up. This was a teaching tool for them. Video chatting allows someone to be virtually present. If I wouldn't allow someone physically in their bedroom, I certainly wouldn't allow them to be virtually present. Therefore, facetiming and all other forms of video chatting were to take place only in a publicly accessible place in our home, usually in the family room or dining room. I give them their space, but it's balanced with the understanding that they don't have full privacy.

I used to turn the internet off at night, and I limit screen time (TV, computer games, texting, chatting, etc). For our family, the limit was an hour on school nights, longer times when there wasn't school, when the weather was bad, etc. They could see friends in person, get some outside activity, read, do chores, whatever. The goal was to encourage responsible use of technology. My oldest, who works in this field, has recently told me that he's glad I did this. He knows how important it is to take a break from the screens.

He's already 16 and will be resentful of your attempts to "control him." If you pay for the phone, it's yours and you allow him to use it, so you don't need his permission to restrict his usage. But you also want him to cooperate with you because this is a learning experience. You want him to have a more disciplined approach to the use of technology. Definitely use whatever parental controls you have available to help him (early on, my kids only had flip phones, no images, no apps, and limited texting), and also talk to him about responsible use. How much time does he think is needed to meet his other responsibilities? How much time/attention does technology take? When he's working a job, or sitting in class, he shouldn't be using his phone. How can you help him find that balance?

The girlfriend is another issue. Good luck with that!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old March 16th, 2017, 04:53 AM
ciws14 ciws14 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 4
ciws14 is on a distinguished road
Unhappy Re: Cell phone & girlfriend...ugh

Thank you Kay. I am trying. At times his school work does indeed suffer. We closely monitor that and have recently made him turn in phone in when he does his homework. My wife has set up a study area in our den where all homework is to be done. We have found him trying to do his homework while on his phone so the homework area did indeed remedy that for now. His grades have been acceptable thus far since implementing that.

He does not have his driver's license. He is supposed to be getting it in April providing he had enough time behind the wheel. There is a driving log that he is supposed to be filling out to ensure he has adequate time behind the wheel. He has failed to fill that out after reminding him countless times. So we have decided to back off of that for now. Everything goes back to him being super distracted with this girlfriend. Again, another story for later.

Lucy, I agree with you and the dark ages. I could never spend that amount of time on the phone due to be tethered to wall. Plus growing up in the rural setting that I lived, our entire road of (4) houses shared the same line. They called it a "Party Line". So you had to ask whomever was on the phone if
you could use it next. Man I'm old. LOL.

You're also right that I will have to turn this into a learning experience and some serious changes are to take place. You touched on a good point and I am not comfortable with the amount of privacy he has with the phone while in the house. So we are going to make him use it in a public area as well as establish limitations on time with the phone. That should make a big difference.

I have noticed as well that they don't use a lot of typical texting. They use Snapchat almost exclusively. Which really causes concern for me. I am going to turn on the parental features of his phone and begin limiting apps like this that he uses. I've been near his phone when he's received a Snap Chat message and realized his has come from his GF's mother. Which really concerned me which I nipped in the butt immediately. The fact they are texting with Snapchat instead of traditional means is disturbing in among itself. Another story which I will be posting soon for guidance.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old March 16th, 2017, 05:28 AM
ciws14 ciws14 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 4
ciws14 is on a distinguished road
Unhappy Re: Cell phone & girlfriend...ugh

Thank you Kay. I am trying. At times his school work does indeed suffer. We closely monitor that and have recently made him turn in phone in when he does his homework. My wife has set up a study area in our den where all homework is to be done. We have found him trying to do his homework while on his phone so the homework area did indeed remedy that for now. His grades have been acceptable thus far since implementing that.

He does not have his driver's license. He is supposed to be getting it in April providing he had enough time behind the wheel. There is a driving log that he is supposed to be filling out to ensure he has adequate time behind the wheel. He has failed to fill that out after reminding him countless times. So we have decided to back off of that for now. Everything goes back to him being super distracted with this girlfriend. Again, another story for later.

Lucy, I agree with you and the dark ages. I could never spend that amount of time on the phone due to be tethered to wall. Plus growing up in the rural setting that I lived, our entire road of (4) houses shared the same line. They called it a "Party Line". So you had to ask whomever was on the phone if
you could use it next. Man I'm old. LOL.

You're also right that I will have to turn this into a learning experience and some serious changes are to take place. You touched on a good point and I am not comfortable with the amount of privacy he has with the phone while in the house. So we are going to make him use it in a public area as well as establish limitations on time with the phone. That should make a big difference.

I have noticed as well that they don't use a lot of typical texting. They use Snapchat almost exclusively. Which really causes concern for me. I am going to turn on the parental features of his phone and begin limiting apps like this that he uses. I've been near his phone when he's received a Snap Chat message and realized his has come from his GF's mother. Which really concerned me which I nipped in the butt immediately. The fact they are texting with Snapchat instead of traditional means is disturbing in among itself. Another story which I will be posting soon for guidance.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old March 16th, 2017, 01:55 PM
LucyVanPelt's Avatar
LucyVanPelt LucyVanPelt is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 9,123
LucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond reputeLucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond reputeLucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond reputeLucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond reputeLucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond reputeLucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Cell phone & girlfriend...ugh

Party lines! I used to be a dial "0" operator many years ago. Kids today just don't know! No call waiting! We had to do an "emergency break" on the line. Pay phones, collect calls.. They don't know the struggle!

But some things don't change. You're concerned about snapchat, and the mother snapchatting your son makes you uncomfortable? Good for you for following your gut and putting an end to that.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:18 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2007, The BlueSparks Network