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Is it "borderline child abuse" to take away a 14yo's phone/access to devices?

(101 Posts)
Greensleeves Fri 08-Feb-19 19:25:09 a consequence for very poor behaviour at school? He's also grounded. It's for a week initially, he will earn his privileges back when school report a significant improvement.

His contention is that it cuts off his ability to communicate with his friends and leaves him with nothing to do

My view is that parents have been grounding children for far longer than children have had access to electronic means of communicating with their friends. And it's not supposed to be fun.

I'm not sure though, hence posting. AIBU? Is he right that it's too much?

ChasedByBees Fri 08-Feb-19 19:26:21

Ha ha good try from him, you have to give him that.

Fraula Fri 08-Feb-19 19:26:46

You're totally in the right!

Maddiii56 Fri 08-Feb-19 19:27:05

Yes it is you isolating him from friends and if you keep doing that for a prolonged period of time you will end up damaging his mental health

LeSquigh Fri 08-Feb-19 19:27:19

Of course it’s not borderline child abuse, he’s trying it on!

BartonHollow Fri 08-Feb-19 19:27:52

No not remotely and all his friends parents probably have similar rules

Of course it's not child abuse.

Real child abuse is much more serious than denying a 14 yo their iPhone

Aprilshowersarecomingsoon Fri 08-Feb-19 19:28:20

How are his friendships? Bit risky him being an outsider in school days without lines of communication. Bit harsh imo.
How about x chores =and hour of tech a night?
Win win imo handing out chores!!

Maddiii56 Fri 08-Feb-19 19:28:23

Also why not ask him if there is any other reasons his grades are bad, he could all ready be struggling with mental health

Maddiii56 Fri 08-Feb-19 19:29:22


SinkGirl Fri 08-Feb-19 19:29:49

He clearly doesn’t know the meaning of child abuse. Being isolated from your friends is the consequence for his behaviour. Don’t back down now or he will never listen to you again!

Patchworksack Fri 08-Feb-19 19:29:50

Of course it's not child abuse!

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking Fri 08-Feb-19 19:30:33

Peer isolation, a tactic used by abusers unfortunately … but he's seeing them at school so in this situation, probably not, unless it were long term and he were also prevented from leaving the house

Chouetted Fri 08-Feb-19 19:31:17

Well a lot of punishments could be described as "borderline child abuse". Confining a child to their room, denying them a meal, shouting at them, making them do chores, these can all be punishments or methods of child abuse, depending on the context.

So I would say he is technically correct, which is of course the best kind of correct, but gets him no further forward, as you are entitled to do whatever you like until it crosses that line. Which you certainly have not!

SinkGirl Fri 08-Feb-19 19:31:39

She’s not locking him in the house for the rest of the year - it’s a week and he can see his friends at school. He’s fortunate to have electronic devices in the first place, many kids don’t.

Patchworksack Fri 08-Feb-19 19:31:40

Is Madiii your son?? It's supposed to be "a bad thing" as a consequence for bad decisions, bad behaviour.

iklboo Fri 08-Feb-19 19:31:52

* His contention is that it cuts off his ability to communicate with his friends and leaves him with nothing to do*

Do homework
Do chores
Watch TV with family

Cutting off the ability to slag you off communicate with friends is not child abuse.

PatrickMerricksGoshawk Fri 08-Feb-19 19:32:02

Maddiii56 are you the OP’s son? grin

Greensleeves Fri 08-Feb-19 19:33:45

He's at school with his friends all day so not isolated, and we eat/talk/spend time together as a family, he's not locked in his room.

No MH difficulties and it's not grades, it's rude and appalling behaviour.

It doesn't sit easily with me, I'm quite wussy, but dh and I felt this required a strong response.

JellyBabiesSaveLives Fri 08-Feb-19 19:33:57

Of course not.

If he has nothing to do, offer to take him to the library to choose a book to read, and also give him some housework to keep him busy.

As for communicating with his friends - it’s a a school week, right? He’s going to see them all day, can talk at lunchtime?

And I assume that you and the school are looking at the reasons behind the poor behaviour?

LittleBearPad Fri 08-Feb-19 19:36:28

Of course it’s not child abuse.

He’s being ridiculous. Don’t be wussy

cauliflowersqueeze Fri 08-Feb-19 19:37:06

Absolutely not child abuse!!! Hilarious that he thought that.

Arnoldillo Fri 08-Feb-19 19:38:48

Madii, you heard your mum, now give her your phone and go and do your homework.

FrancisCrawford Fri 08-Feb-19 19:40:54

Definitely not abuse!

He will see his mates at school, so he isn’t being isolated - what a silly suggestion.

He likes a bit of drama, doesn’t he?

Now he knows there are consequences and that you will stick to them. So there’s his incentive to pull his socks up.

Maddiii56 Fri 08-Feb-19 19:44:00

It will damage him maybe you should just have a goddamm conversation with him maybe he is seriously struggling with his mental health

Jackshouse Fri 08-Feb-19 19:44:20

Nope. No abuse but I would make it a time limited sanction or it will loose its effectiveness.

Denying a child a meal is abuse Chouetted

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