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Teen constantly plugged in to headphones/smartphone

(7 Posts)
1Wanda1 Mon 01-Oct-18 08:57:49

I'm at the end of my tether with DS(16) and his constant headphone/smartphone use. From the moment he wakes (literally), he is plugged in to his headphones with smartphone in hand, watching YouTube videos. Walking around the house, phone in hand. Sitting eating breakfast (alone or with sister - not as a family), phone in hand. Goes to the loo or to clean teeth - phone in hand. You get the picture. Chores like hanging out the washing take twice as long because he insists on doing it while also watching YouTube videos.

If I need to call him to come downstairs, I can't. I have to go to his room and open the door and get in his line of vision to get his attention, as he cannot hear me call him.

As well as being obviously antisocial, this is starting to damage his hearing. On the rare occasions when he isn't plugged in, it's clear that he can't hear things as well as he used to .

No amount of reasonable discussion of the fact that hearing loss and antisocial behaviour are to be avoided gets through. He denies his hearing is affected and just says "no" when I tell him to stop using his headphones. I can't take the phone away because he paid for it himself. I also can't enforce the no headphones rule a lot of the time because I work full time and only get home about 6.30. He is at college so 3 days a week is at home from early afternoon. Probably listening to his headphones.

Previously we've tried limiting phone use through OurPact. Not that great as both DC worked out that putting phone onto airplane mode circumvented the OurPact controls. They could continue to listen to music even on airplane mode. Now they have to surrender phones an hour before bedtime but the rest of the day DS is still cut off from the outside world by his headphones.

Turning WiFi off doesn't work because he can still get internet through 3G.

I can't bear the arguing about it EVERY SINGLE DAY and as a result have been letting it slide a bit. But it's got to stop. What can I do?

OP’s posts: |
llangennith Mon 01-Oct-18 09:34:05

Sounds very familiar.

1Wanda1 Mon 01-Oct-18 10:30:57

I am sometimes comforted by reading this board and realising that other families have similar problems with smartphone use but at this point I am really looking for solutions that have worked for other people!

Does anyone have suggestions as to how to either curb teens' headphone/phone use, or (even better) get them to see for themselves the reasons why being plugged in 24/7 is a bad thing?

OP’s posts: |
HoppingPavlova Mon 01-Oct-18 10:47:17

Not sure if this is possible with your set up but when we want ours off for whatever reason we change the wifi password and hook our devices back up with new password so it’s only their computers/devices/phones that won’t work.
In regards to phones DH disables the data on their phones. This only works though as we pay the bills and their phones are on our account so DH has some sort of master control (no idea about it all myself).

So when we get jack of them for whatever reason DH changes wi-fi, disables their phone data then this happens:
* Kid (older teen/younger adult) realises nothing is working and looks confused.
* Kid starts playing around with stuff, boxes that seem to have some significance and so forth.
* I keep myself busy in background but inwardly pissing myself with laughter.
* Kid says not working, they will contact DH to get it sorted thinking he will need to call someone to fix technical fault.
* Kid texts DH (as they can still text). They know I have no idea about it all so don’t bother with me.
* DH texts them back to say it’s disabled because they have been an utter cock.
* Kid goes off in a rant. I’m really silently pissing myself with laughter even harder than before.
* Kid goes without for however long it takes to redeem themselves.

emss55 Sun 21-Oct-18 01:54:05

This could be my son you are talking about and it drives me nuts too. Best bit is when I tap him on the shoulder to talk to him he rips the earphones out shouting "WHAT" in a very loud booming voice. I've told him it will affect his hearing but he just looks at me as if I'm mad.

Yeahmum Sat 27-Oct-18 01:35:22

Yes, normal!

Birdie69 Sat 27-Oct-18 01:39:19

When I was a teenager my mother tried to convince me that listening to loud rock music would affect my hearing. It didn't. And I'm sure that your arguments about it will fall on deaf ears , lol.

They are all the same - stand outside your local high school and watch them come out, every kid will have ear plugs in. You'll never be able to change this - you may as well go down to the ocean and try to hold back the tide. Stop stressing about it is my advice.

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