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To destroy my son's phone?

(148 Posts)
WeakandWobbly Mon 28-Sep-20 07:31:30

My 13yo ds has had a mobile for exactly one year. He has ASD. Over the course of the year he has become more and more fixated on it. He rarely has calls or online chats with friends. He gets up as early as 6.30am to play space games and watch YouTube bloggers talking about rockets, which is his special interest.
He gave up scouts, and he gave up drama club. Now he has no hobbies, doesn't leave the house at all on weekends, , and won't help out around the house. 99% of the arguments and fights (and I mean him shoving me, kicking me, shouting abuse at me, breaking things) occurs when my dh and I try to enforce boundaries on usage.
We think we have been very reasonable in that he can have his phone before school, he is banned - by the school-- from having it in school so he doesn't take it. In the evening he will not engage with anyone nicely until it's 7.30pm when the phone has to be handed in. He often hides it, refuses to hand it over, keeps the password secret and so on. Our family life has, been destroyed... And don't get me started on lockdown hell angry
My DD age 11 also has a phone, but we don't have any problems with her.
This weekend was particularly bad where ds was kicking me and spitting at me, calling me a lunatic, threw water in my face, because my efforts to control phone usage he sees as bullying.
I was thinking of asking the local constabulary to pop in and 'seize' his phone and destroy it. That way he cannot target us parents over it.
YABU: kids need to have a phone
YANBU: chuck the thing out and get your sanity back

Sorry I don't know how to do the voting buttons on my phone. I'm fuming too much!! sad

OP’s posts: |
LuckyToTheStar Mon 28-Sep-20 07:33:03

YANBU

MrsShelton Mon 28-Sep-20 07:33:45

Remove it

But please, don’t involve the police!! I think they have enough to do

Ohalrightthen Mon 28-Sep-20 07:34:34

Getting the police to come and take your son's phone away!? Ridiculous overreaction and a gross misuse of stretched resources. Jesus wept.

Just take it yourself. No need to destroy it either, that's another overreaction and pretty wasteful. Cancel the contract, remove the device, replace with brick for emergencies.

frazzledasarock Mon 28-Sep-20 07:34:36

If he doesn’t need it for you to keep contact with him whilst he’s travelling to school I would remove it.

What will he do when it happens? He sounds obsessed with it.

RedHelenB Mon 28-Sep-20 07:35:05

When he is calm have the conversation about how his behaviour changes re.phone usage. Can you get his input as to what is fair, even if that does give him more screen time?

seayork2020 Mon 28-Sep-20 07:37:42

Why on earth would the police get involved?

Porridgeoat Mon 28-Sep-20 07:38:44

I would remove it completely and only return it once he had fully engaged with things for a full two weeks. This could take months if he doesn’t play ball.

The other route is to allow him to have it 8am to 5pm only on week days. Failure to freely return the phone 5pm or share passcodes means no phone the next week day as a consequence.

WeakandWobbly Mon 28-Sep-20 07:39:09

Thanks for the replies, guys. We've already involved the police over him hitting me whilst driving. He is out of control and God knows what he'll do when I take the phone away! Yes, he's obsessed which is part of his asd. But he's also aggressive. I'll report back!

OP’s posts: |
Porridgeoat Mon 28-Sep-20 07:40:04

Actually remove the phone yourself and call the police if he attacks you.

SerenityNowwwww Mon 28-Sep-20 07:41:05

I don’t know about cold turkey - could cause a massive fight. I charge all the phones in my bedroom at night. So noone gets their hands on one before I get up.

Try to have a chat when he is calm and responsive. Explain what you want (set time to play, him to do ‘other’ things to maybe ‘earn’ extra time). Also what is unacceptable.

Is he getting additional help?

Porridgeoat Mon 28-Sep-20 07:42:09

Do you have someone else who can remove the phone. An uncle or friend who he wouldn’t challenge in the same way

emptyshelvesagain Mon 28-Sep-20 07:45:42

I was thinking of asking the local constabulary to pop in and 'seize' his phone and destroy it. That way he cannot target us parents over it.

You can't actually be serious?

You think the police should come and do your parenting for you hmm

I'm stunned that you think the police would respond to a request like this.

jdoejnr1 Mon 28-Sep-20 07:46:17

Police won't 'come and seize his phone then destroy it' unless they have a legal power to do so...and they don't. You could however stop paying his phone bill, change the WiFi password or take it off him when you see fit.

emptyshelvesagain Mon 28-Sep-20 07:48:59

We think we have been very reasonable in that he can have his phone before school, he is banned - by the school-- from having it in school so he doesn't take it. In the evening he will not engage with anyone nicely until it's 7.30pm when the phone has to be handed in.

Well tbh that's quite reasonable anyway. He is watching videos and learning as well as playing games. What are you expecting your autistic teenager to do in this time period if he isn't allowed his screen?

He often hides it, refuses to hand it over, keeps the password secret and so on.

Teenagers do this. It's up to us to parent them.

Our family life has, been destroyed...

This is a ridiculous over reaction

NekoShiro Mon 28-Sep-20 07:49:14

Will doing this cause him to be jealous of his sister having a phone still and redirect his outbursts onto her?

Oodlesofnoodles20 Mon 28-Sep-20 07:55:11

I’m shocked that you want the police to do your parenting for you, maybe if you did the parenting he wouldn’t be like this. Take the damn phone. He can have it back when he behaves better.

SonjaMorgan Mon 28-Sep-20 07:56:38

I am surprised you have let it go on this long. I would remove it and keep at an undisclosed relatives home. I wouldn't involve the police unless you have to. Do you have any friends or support capable of restraining him?

myhobbyisouting Mon 28-Sep-20 07:57:44

The police can't seize his phone. Why would they do that?

Just take the phones from both kids and explain that with hindsight, you think they were too young.

ExclamationPerfume Mon 28-Sep-20 07:58:04

The police have more than enough to do. Learn to parent your own child. Ridiculous.

SonjaMorgan Mon 28-Sep-20 08:00:27

Some of you are being unnecessary harsh. I used to work with adults with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour. The violence is terrifying. We would at times have to involve the police even with our training.

Brighterthansunflowers Mon 28-Sep-20 08:01:59

YANBU to take his phone away but YABU to expect the police to do it for you

Hitting you while driving is dangerous for you and others, which is why I expect the police got involved. Taking away his phone is just parenting and not the job of the police.

WeakandWobbly Mon 28-Sep-20 08:07:58

@emptyshelvesagain I'm hoping to have a civil conversation with him, I'm hoping he'll do his homework, I'm hoping he will speak to his sister, who he ignores from one day to the other.
I'm beginning to suspect that my expectations of teenagers is too high!!

OP’s posts: |
Blueringedoctopus Mon 28-Sep-20 08:11:30

He's your son, step up and do some parenting. He's pushing boundaries which is completely normal at his age, ASD or not. Call the police - what a ridiculous overreaction. Set up family sharing on his account (you can do this with both Android and Apple). You can then disable his phone if he behaves badly and you have to authorise downloading anything. He couldn't have gone to scouts etc for at least the last 6 months anyway - what do you think he should be doing with everything shut or cancelled.

gamerchick Mon 28-Sep-20 08:13:02

emptyshelvesagain

*We think we have been very reasonable in that he can have his phone before school, he is banned - by the school-- from having it in school so he doesn't take it. In the evening he will not engage with anyone nicely until it's 7.30pm when the phone has to be handed in.*

Well tbh that's quite reasonable anyway. He is watching videos and learning as well as playing games. What are you expecting your autistic teenager to do in this time period if he isn't allowed his screen?

He often hides it, refuses to hand it over, keeps the password secret and so on.

Teenagers do this. It's up to us to parent them.

Our family life has, been destroyed...

This is a ridiculous over reaction

Sounds like you have extensive experience of parenting a teen with autism. Out of interest, what do you do when yours stands tit to tit squaring up to you and you have a split second to get a reaction right before they lamp you one?

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