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How would you deal with this?(44 Posts)
DS (13) has been having some poor attitude recently and swore at me earlier this week so I confiscated his phone, tablet and PSvita. He had shown better behaviour the rest of the week so I allowed him his phone back today but I said he had to allow me his password first and I wanted to check his phone as his behaviour recently hasn’t been good and I suspect there is maybe a new friend or something going on that he would rather I didn’t know about. He refused and has taken his phone. He became extremely possessive of it and raised his voice to me saying it was his personal business. He won’t give it to me and will probably hide it tonight when he goes to bed so I can’t take it when he is sleeping. I’ve taken the router for the internet so he can’t go online and I don’t think he has any credit or money in his bank account to top up. I told him his behaviour is leading me to believe he is hiding something from me but he denies this. He is probably deleting all incriminating stuff as I post this.
What do I do now?
take the phone back (asap) and insist he lets you look through it, or you will take further consequences (grounded for a week) because i am presuming you bought the phone for him, making it your property,
I would say back off...Sorry but you come across as very controlling. He is 13 and going through another stage in his life where he needs a bit of privacy. If you keep on like this throughout his teenage years you will end up with a very resentful son. Chill and pick your battles...
Leave him with his phone but remove his charger. Much more of a punishment watching the battery % going down. He can earn some charge each day according to his behaviour.
take the phone back (asap) and insist he lets you look through it
I can’t physically get the phone, that’s the issue. He has it. He’s in the bathroom right now, when he comes out he will have the phone on him. I’m not going to physically wrestle him for it.
millipede I do see why you say that but everything I read says parents should check their teens phones/online interactions. And his behaviour is leading me to think he is up to something I should know about. I can’t just ignore that.
Ds’s attitude was bad the other week and when I asked him to give me his phone he wouldn’t. Very simple told him he either gives it to me and could have it back the next day or I would cancel the contract and he wouldn’t have it full stop. He chose to give it to me
Just sit down and talk to him then ! Ask if there is anything wrong /reassure him you are there to help with any problems etc. He is probably just textin a girl and would be mortified if you see it....I'm my experience showing love/support/general down to earth advice works so much better than demanding something from a child.
Maybe don't think the absolute worst about him.
What you consider incriminating can be vastly different to what young teens would consider.
He may have some very embarrassing stuff on there that you would not really take too seriously but for him it would be mortifying for you to see.
Let it go and pick your battles he changed his behaviour like you asked you can't keep punishing for the same crime.
Your approach is likely to backfire and make him more aggressive and secretive. Teenagers are just starting to assert their own identities so it's better to have an open, trusting dialogue rather than expecting him to hand over his phone. Yes you pay for it but then what does he have in this world that is that is truly his and private.
Ive already done all that, he doesn’t talk about worries or emotions or anything. Everything is always “fine” or “nothing’s wrong, stop asking me!” and he gets annoyed, walks off. He won’t have the conversations. He will chat about tv shows or music or something funny that happened in class but if I try and find out about friendships or if he is down he clams up and won’t talk.
Ok so does no-one actually check their teens phones?
The authoritarian approach has a very limited life span. Eventually they either learn to be good liars or get money for their own stuff.
What you ideally want to do is build a relationship where they will confide in you. Which taking the phone away and shouting doesn't do.
It doesn't matter what guidance says. At 13 you might be able to wrestle his phone from him, but at 18/19 you won't (or could be done for theft assault) and won't have built up trust.
FWIW if his behaviour had been normal I wouldn’t have asked to check it, it was his bad attitude and secretiveness that has made me suspect there is something he is hiding.
I have no notion of wrestling it from him.
No....never checked my teens phone !
So how do I know if there’s something going on like bullying or whatever? What do you do when your teen is being secretive milipede?
Keep dialogue open....make your home a place where he feels able to bring friends to....just get to know this new "growing young man" show him/ tell him that you respect his privacy but let him know you are always 100% on his side and are always there for him if he needs you.
I have a 15 and a 13 year old.
I have only checked the 15 year olds phone once, he was about 13. I had it reported back to me via someone else that he had some nasty stuff on his instagram. We did similar to PP.
Give me phone now, or contract is cancelled. He handed phone over.
He also went ballistic, as he didn't want me reading all his messages etc.
I was very clear. I wasn't interested in most content, I was skimming through the whole to check if there was anything that shoudln't be. I wasn't going to read his texts etc between him and his friends.
Don;t know if he believed me really, but I stuck to that. I did check his whole instagram, and it was fine.
Then we talked about it and he admitted that he was following someone who posted vile stuff, if it was vile, he instantly deleted. He unfollowed them, and we returned phone. I was very clear that I had no intention of micro managing, until I thought there was a problem, and then I reserved the right to check.
It is most likely that he has posted private messages to a girl, or that he has posted stuff he wouldn't want you to read, but not actually 'bad'
He doesn’t have a contract, it’s a pay as you go SIM card so there is no way of me stopping it. I have taken both the chargers although I think he may be able to charge it with the lead for something else.
steppemum that’s the stance I was/am taking too. He got the phone on the condition I would have access to it when I requested. That was two years ago. Until now I’ve had no reason to be concerned with his phone use. It’s his behaviour that has made me want to check it.
I think I can assume now there is no longer anything there that will cause concern, he’ll have deleted whatever he is worried about me seeing.
I’ll try to talk to him again when he comes down but I don’t think he’ll be handing it over. He’ll just have to do without it once the battery dies.
And yes milipede I generally do have that sort of a relationship with him. He just never seems to want to talk about anything “heavy”.
I have never checked either of my DCs phones...
If you do look at his phone, OP, what do you think you might find and what might you do if it's something you disapprove of?
IStandWithPosie I check my ds’s. He’s very nearly 13. I’m glad I do as I found messages on his Instagram between him and a random adult where the adult was talking about suicide to him.
On mumsnet people say to check teens phones. In real life I’ve never met anyone who does. I don’t. I remind mine that I do have a right to whilst I am paying the bill but they do deserve privacy. I also tell them that lots of parents do check the phones without their kids knowing so they do need to be careful what they post. I also lecture them about not sending on naked photos etc etc.
Ive no idea what I might find. How I deal with it depends on what it is, if anything. I just have that gut feeling that there’s something. I’ve never felt the need to check his phone before. I know he’s 13 and they do go through personality changes and to expect bad behaviour at times. But that doesn’t mean I shouldnt handle it when it does happen. He can’t just get away with being rude and disrespectful because he is a teen. And it doesn’t mean there can’t also be something I should be concerned about. His behaviour is setting off little niggly alarm bells and I think I’d be taking the easy option if I was just to ignore that.