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...to hold on to teenagers' phones when they are here for a sleepover

(1000 Posts)
dubmumof2 Sat 09-Nov-19 14:09:33

Quick background - my teenage DC (15 & 13) are not and have never been allowed their phones overnight in their bedrooms for both sleep and safety reasons. They set their phones to charge downstairs before going up to bed. I have in the past had to charge a phone in my bedroom for a period when I discovered that a phone was being retrieved in secret when the house was gone to bed!

I've always had a similar rule for sleepovers - phones are handed over at 12 midnight or 12.30am and charged in my room (not downstairs from experience). Everyone is informed of where their phone is and told that if they want to talk to parents etc in the night that is fine - they can have their phone from me. I have lots of reasons - concern for what they may watch when I'm asleep, concern for the potential ideas that groups can spur on to film sleeping friends and post them (illegally!), know of middle of the night sorties to meet other groups having sleepovers arranged by phone. I feel I am in loco parentis and those are risks I'm not willing to take.

Had two new 13 year old friends last night for the first time. Group including regular sleepover attendees and new then considered this rule very unreasonable and I spent from 12.30am to 4.30am defending it, preventing numerous attempts to get the phones back by stealth or argument, and addressing charges that I wasn't allowed to keep them from their phones......

I didn't budge and am unlikely to revise the rule but AIBU? Do any of you have similar rules or am I an outlier here?

drivingtofrance Sat 09-Nov-19 14:12:06

I think it is up to the other teens' parents to make that decision.

19lottie82 Sat 09-Nov-19 14:13:24

It’s a sleepover. Relax for once. Your poor kids will be mortified.

moonlightholly Sat 09-Nov-19 14:13:47

I wouldn’t be happy with someone doing this to my kid tbh.

pooiepooie25 Sat 09-Nov-19 14:13:49

Your house, your rules. I totally agree with you. My DD is a year younger and same rule applies. If they don't like it, they don't come back for a sleepover.

FuckyNel Sat 09-Nov-19 14:14:18

No way

Dieu Sat 09-Nov-19 14:14:23

Jesus, you would not be popular! grin

NumberblockNo1 Sat 09-Nov-19 14:14:38

I'd not want another adult with access to my child's phone. I'd also want my child to be able to contact me if anxious.

amiapropermum Sat 09-Nov-19 14:14:46

I would prefer my child to have their phone while on a sleepover. They may not feel comfortable to ask for it if feeling anxious or even for personal or health issues. I think you are being OTT

dubmumof2 Sat 09-Nov-19 14:15:03

Those that consider that I am being unreasonable - can I ask on what grounds?

user1494670108 Sat 09-Nov-19 14:15:14

We have no phones in rooms overnight at any time EXCEPT sleepovers, i think you are being totally unreasonable and your children must be mortified

drspouse Sat 09-Nov-19 14:15:46

If they don't like the house rules they don't need to come for a sleepover.

speakout Sat 09-Nov-19 14:15:58

I wouln't allow my teen to go to a sleepover where the parent removes their phone.

You are being very controlling.

ImportantWater Sat 09-Nov-19 14:16:02

I agree with you for all the reasons you have said. Phones shouldn’t be in bedrooms.

Bellatrix14 Sat 09-Nov-19 14:16:08

Doing that with your own teenagers phones is one thing (I would say it’s excessive, but they are your children and at least they should get a proper night’s sleep!) but I think you are being very unreasonable to take phones from guests, especially if you haven’t cleared it with them and their parents first. It is their property, what gives you the right to automatically confiscate it? What if something made the child uncomfortable and they wanted to speak to their parents without you listening or being aware? I would be very annoyed if I were their parent.

Just explain to your children that if something happens that they feel is unacceptable or makes them unhappy to come and wake you or tell you in the morning.

TeenPlusTwenties Sat 09-Nov-19 14:16:16

I think that your DC needs to be made responsible for telling visiting friends that will be the deal before they accept staying over.

So your rules your house. but not worth an argument on the night.
If visitor or their parent doesn't want to follow the rules then they don't need to stay over.

moonlightholly Sat 09-Nov-19 14:16:21

I’d like my children to be able to contact me if they need to.

moonlightholly Sat 09-Nov-19 14:17:16

I can’t believe you confiscated two kids phones though Op.

Did you not consider that your poor child is going to be a laughing stock come Monday?

amiapropermum Sat 09-Nov-19 14:17:51

I think you're being too authoritarian and most likely embarrassing your children. Aside from that I suffered from very painful and irregular periods as a teenager. I remember being in my aunt's house - my mother's sister- one night and I was sweating with the pain, actually couldn't keep still with it but movement made me sick. I was unable to ask her for help. I was 13 at the time and that's a situation where direct access to my own mother would have helped

CreatedBySombra Sat 09-Nov-19 14:18:07

I'd do the same. There's literally no reason to need a mobile phone overnight that can't be resolved by asking you for help...apart from sneaky ones that make your decision right.

ManiacalLapwing Sat 09-Nov-19 14:18:36

I think if you know the other parents well and have their support then YANBU.

However, if my teenager was at a sleep over and I didn't know the parents well then I would prefer that he had access to his phone so he could contact me or ask to be picked up without having to go through the other parents.

LadyPenelope68 Sat 09-Nov-19 14:18:55

You can't take a phone off someone else's child like that, it's not your property to do so. Spending 4 hours trying to stop them makes you seem a proper control freak and slightly unhinged! Your children will be absolutely mortified and these friends probably won't want to stay again. Your actions could have a huge impact on their friendships. As a parent as well, I'd be angry that someone child to take my child's phone off them, they might have wanted to text me or whatever if they were anxious for example. I think you were very, very unreasonable and frankly very bizarre.

moonlightholly Sat 09-Nov-19 14:19:13

There is actually created, I remember getting bullied the shit out of one weekend when staying with ‘friends’. A quick text to my dad would have meant I could have gone home. As it was I was stuck there until Sunday! It was awful. I still remember it now.

Waterandlemonjuice Sat 09-Nov-19 14:19:48

I wouldn’t do this to a visiting 13yo, no. My dd has texted me sometimes to say she wants to come home earlier / is feeling ill and I want her to be able to contact me. YABU.

pollyputthepastaon Sat 09-Nov-19 14:19:50

Good rule, very sensible. To be honest you were tolerant arguing until 4am! I’d have phoned their parents to collect by then.

Of course they shouldnt be on phones after midnight.

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