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HELP! DD without her phone is like heroin addict with no smack.

(35 Posts)
Spidermama Mon 12-May-14 09:53:52

DDs been getting increasingly attached to her iPhone. She's on it ALL the time. She allows herself to be summoned by messages on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and probably all sorts of other things I've never heard of.

Just to give you some background, she's also highly strung almost all of the time. Probably socially phobic or at least has social anxiety issues. This is very hard work for everyone in the family and especially for her obviously. She swears at me and all other members of the family daily. It's very hard.

Anyway she has an exam tomorrow (ethics AS) which she really needs to study for. She has done a lot of studying but she spends so much time on her phone it's terribly worrying. So I've taken it from her (after several warnings and finding her almost texting in her sleep lying in a chair).

She's fuming now. She hates me. I'm the worst mother in the world and she's begging, tearfully, to get her phone back. sad It makes me feel sad and cruel BUT I can't just sit back while she is glued to her phone. It's surely so bad for her head.

My fervent hope is that she'll surrender to the situation and crack on with some revision this evening, but she's now kind of blackmailing me and saying she'll not sit the exam or she'll not do any revision unless I give the phone back.

What would you do?

Lorelei353 Thu 15-May-14 01:59:47

Glad you found it useful and happy to hear the exam went well.

chocoluvva Wed 14-May-14 12:52:05

Another thought - exam times can be so stressful. But hopefully your DD will have learnt something useful about preparing for her next lot of exams by doing this one.

Hopefully she'll have done well with this one and it will motivate her to study for her next lot.

Thank you from me for the article too.

(My DD and I are going to an introduction to meditation class tonight!)

Spidermama Wed 14-May-14 11:10:55

We did a phased return of her phone. The night before the exam she was almost high on facts demanding we test her on all the stuff she'd revised. We were all so relieved!!

She sat the exam and texted straight after it to say it was all over. It's like a massive weight has lifted off us all.

Thanks for your support on this. I'm using it as a window into how things might get at GCSE time if I don't give this matter some serious thought.

I'm increasingly thinking some sort of mindfulness training might be beneficial to her. (to me to.) Maybe I can convince her that its something we can do together.

Spidermama Wed 14-May-14 10:33:22

Here's an excerpt for anyone interested: We need to stop scaremongering about technology, not just because it's wrong, but because it's harmful. In another 2013 study, published in Computers in Human Behaviour, Reynol Junco found that young people in the US overestimated the time they spent online by a factor of five: on average, they spent 26 minutes a day on Facebook, but reported spending 145 minutes. "Society is telling them it's bad, and they're accepting it. That's not how to raise a generation. We're making youth feel bad about a normal part of their lives."

We shouldn't. Nor should kids have to come up with attention strategies on their own. Instead, we need to help children develop those skills.

Spidermama Wed 14-May-14 10:29:36

Thanks Lorelei for that Wired article. Absolutely brilliant! I just read it in full and would urge any other concerned parents to do the same. It examines our fears (scremongering?) about the possible damages of our children being hyper-stimulated by technology and looks at research into the actual benefits.

It has honestly changed the way I will be approaching this subject with my teenagers.

Bonsoir Wed 14-May-14 08:07:35

I've emailed her!

TarpalCunnel Wed 14-May-14 07:46:20

Ooh that would be brilliant, thankyou very much! grin

Bonsoir Wed 14-May-14 07:45:32

It was a talk - I can ask the speaker if she has published any papers and get back to you!

TarpalCunnel Wed 14-May-14 07:23:35

Bonsoir I would be really interested to read more about that, can you tell us more or do you have any links? It sounds like something I could use for my psychology coursework smile

Bonsoir Wed 14-May-14 05:38:42

OP - entirely coincidentally I was at a talk yesterday about technology in education. One of the speakers, a clinical psychologist, likened phone/internet addiction to anorexia/bulimia and said the treatment protocols are very similar.

gurningpug Tue 13-May-14 12:04:32

Hope your DD's exam went ok today.

I'd be tempted to go easy on her if she's struggling with her mental health, at least until you get professional advice. I've no idea how hard it is to be parent to a teenager though. I had mental health probs myself in my teens so I'm just coming from that angle.

My teenage niece & nephew are permanently attached to their phones too, I think its the new norm unfortuntely however much we hate it.

Being unable to concentrate on anything for a period of time is also a symptom of depression/anxiety.

scouseontheinside Tue 13-May-14 10:32:07

Spidermama we are not in the UK, but I imagine there will be similar programs.

We can set the phone through the service provider to not receive/make any texts, calls, or internet during certain hours. You're allowed to set numbers that call be called, i.e. parents, emergency number, but outside of set hours, they are locked out of their phones.

We then turn off the wifi in the house, and if they need the computer for homework, they either use dial up and the computer has parental controls and is in the family room. Otherwise they stay at school to use the computers there, and those computers have a school firewall.

It is intense, but last year we went through a very dark period with DS1 and had to come down like a ton of bricks.

How is your DD today? Did she make good on her threat?

Bonsoir Tue 13-May-14 07:30:56

Your DD is addicted to her telephone. She needs to go cold turkey. I know a great US summer camp where the DC have an amazing time for weeks on end and they are not allowed their phones for the duration. PM me if you want details.

chocoluvva Mon 12-May-14 21:26:09

Perhaps you could take her to meditation classes or yoga. Does she do anything physical? Would be good for her mental health. Apologies if this is irrelevant.

Just a thought -do you have many battles with her? Or is this the main one? Could you allow her some more freedom if she agrees to moderate her phone use?

I really sympathise and agree it isn't healthy. So difficult to against the norm and pull back from an addiction though.

Lorelei353 Mon 12-May-14 19:54:08

I read a really interesting article on this kind of 'hyper stimulation' in Wired mag recently.

Georgethesecond Mon 12-May-14 17:02:48

Mine are 15 and 13. They put their phones in the hall while they do a session of revision, then have the phone while they have a break. I think it is really important that they get into the habit whilst they are young, they are going to have to manage their use of technology all their lives. They recognise that they concentrate better without the phone and have no issue with the plan - sometimes they even put the phone there themselves. I occasionally talk about turning off the wifi too, but I've only actually done it once. I don't talk about punishment, I talk about helping them avoid temptation/distractions.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Mon 12-May-14 16:57:50

Id pull her out of the AS til she is of Sixth Form age - it sounds like the last thing she needs is added pressure.

Spidermama Mon 12-May-14 15:20:31

Gurning I am very worried about her mental health. I'm awaiting a Camhs referral. She's on the edge all the time and we all cop it. It's horrible for the whole family and no doubt worst of all for her. I'm awaiting all sorts of help with the mental health element.

Chocluvva I understand this is how teenagers work but I still think its wrong and pernicious and it's making them stressed. Her brain is flitting all over the place and she can't seem to land or concentrate on anything for more than a few seconds. She can't even watch a really gripping film without half of her mind being elsewhere - wherever the phone has taken it.

I want her to learn to control her phone and not the other way round. There has toIbe some time when she's not connected and therefore not in public. Sometimes

Honestly sometimes I have four children in one room sounding like zombies or Beavis and Butthead in their own worlds, staring at a small screen, just wasting time. Its horrible! I can't stand back and do nothing. Its toxic.

chocoluvva Mon 12-May-14 14:58:25

These days most teenagers spend a huge amount of time on their phones - the daily feed from FB, instagram and twitter is enormous. Social events are arranged over FB and whatsapp. Music, tv programmes, clothes etc are discussed.

Your DD might have been tagged on someone else's instagram, FB, twitter - she needs to see it so she can comment on her fat thighs/eyebrows/teeth etc and see what others have said....

Hardly anyone calls on the phone anymore.

IMO this is regrettable - but your DD hasn't known anything else - your preferred lifestyle is just old-fashioned according to her; irrelevant to her. You will not understand why she needs it OP - your DD will think.

TequilaMockingbirdy Mon 12-May-14 14:53:04

sorry she's 15, just read your other post!

TequilaMockingbirdy Mon 12-May-14 14:52:41

She's 17 confused

chocoluvva Mon 12-May-14 14:51:45

I sympathise. My DD was the same at that age. Two years on she's a bit better - but she still spends a lot of time on it.

However I don't think you'll manage to force your DD to study for her exam by keeping her phone. She'll be worrying about appearing to be rude by not answering texts etc. Not having the phone could be as much of a distraction as having it.

Once the exam is over I'd ask her about her phone use. And really listen to what she tells you. Then discuss some rules of use with her.

gurningpug Mon 12-May-14 14:47:23

I don't have teenagers so I have no authority to advice on this. But is your DD ok? Do you suspect there's reason she is so attached to her phone, possibly that you don't know about? You say she's highly strung and very stressed, are you worried about her mental health? Is the exam THAT important?

specialsubject Mon 12-May-14 14:21:46

don't smash it, sell it.

if she gets her arse in gear and passes her exams, she'll be able to earn money, live on her own and control her own access to the internet. THAT'S the incentive.

Trollsworth Mon 12-May-14 11:44:01

At fifteen, totally threaten the phone with a hammer. It doesn't even matter if she calls your bluff and refuses the exam - she's got years to resist it, and she will NEVER call your bluff again.

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