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Teen phone use...am I the only mum?!(100 Posts)
Ok am posting here for a general poll.
My dd 16 is desperate to have her phone in her room overnight. To cut a long story short, she has ongoing mental health needs, is undergoing counselling and is awaiting camhs. There have been issues around her phone, the distraction it presents and her being unable to regulate.
I have always maintained that phones stay downstairs overnight because of impact on sleep, not to mention her being particularly vulnerable at the moment.
She says I am treating her like a child and not giving her an opportunity to show she can regulate. Everyone she knows has their phone overnight too so I am isolating her further than she is already.
More than anything I want her to be happy, healthy and able to regulate. But wondered what general consensus is...would you let your teen have phone overnight? What are your house rules regarding phones? Or am I really the only parent?!
I think your rule is great and one that we should all practise. It’s not good for anyone’s mh to go to sleep with and wake up to a phone! Normal teen behaviour or not. Stick with it.
We had the same row here last night.
Oh but I won’t use it!
So why do you need it then?
You’re treating me like a child!
Give me one good reason then.
No one else’s parents stop them.
I fail to believe that.
You have to trust me!
And the phone remains at night in the phone box in the living room until morning.
He may have another go tonight though...
So maybe not the only one.
I am really struggling with her behaviour at the moment. She has been through a lot lately and I want to be a good mum. She is awful to live with just now. But I know she needs support. I feel like I am letting her down all the time.
I find the more exposure to phone and computer, the worse the behaviour.
I say stick to your rules.
My kids are younger but at secondary school but dont have their phones all night nor allowed SM much to their disgust.
They have proved to me in the past I cant trust them with certain apps. It is a nightmare.
Sending you strength and 🤗
We have a 17 year old and a 14 year old. The rule in our house is no phones in their bedrooms overnight if they have school the next morning. If it is the weekend/school holidays then they can have them as there is no need for an early start in the morning. My 2 would quite happily lie in bed watching Netflix and/or Youtube to 4am if left to their own devices.
Thank you for your replies.
I just need a bit of reassurance every once in a while that I'm not the only one.
She is having counselling but I am worried she is just using it as a means to work out how she can get her phone and not being honest...she told me tonight her counsellor is working on how she can work up to her having it overnight?!
I didn't recognise the person she is at the moment. I feel like I've lost her.
Tough it out. You are doing the right thing!
My DS is younger but secondary age. His phone is locked between 9pm-6am and stays in the kitchen on charge. There is zero need for him to be on it between those hours and quite frankly, I pay the bill so I make the rules. I think you're doing the right thing with your DD, especially for her mental health.
Do you leave your phone downstairs when you go to bed also? If you don't need it near you perhaps you could do that too and then her argument of treating her like a child is no longer valid because you also stick to the rule? I think I need to start doing that to be honest, I wake up way too often in the night and go on my phone if I can't sleep. I'm a terrible role model, although I don't tell DS that
DS 13, phone handed in to us at 7.30pm, without fail. He never argues about it, I think he knows it's pointless as we won't budge.
DD 16, at 6th form is allowed her phone in her room, but she doesn't stay on it all night, gets to bed at a reasonable hour so we allow it. When she was still at secondary she also had to hand in her phone every evening.
If they ever say their friends are allowed their phones overnight I just said they needed to find some new friends with more responsible parents and they never came up with an answer to that!
Great answer. I wish I could trust her to have it overnight. But she just doesn't get it. She is given so many opportunities to be trusted and just lets herself down. She is then sneaky to get what she wants but again doesn't see the link with being trustworthy.
Also like the idea of putting phone downstairs. Makes sense.
I switch my phone off at bedtime. Does everyone in the family do the same?
Is it an iPhone? You can set screentime controls on it so that it locks down at the time you set and comes back on at the time you set. So she could have it in her room but couldn't be on it all night.
That's a good suggestion. Don't think she would agree though.
I have an app on my kids phones called Qustodio which let's me control the times of say they can use it. So she can have her phone but she can't get online after a certain time. It also blocks content and lets you see all the apps she has on the phone. I am not a creepy mom where I am always checking what she is doing, the main thing is I control how much time she spends online - at least on her phone. It also tells you where the phone is (has a tracker).
I got it because this particular kid is a night owl and finds it hard to switch off at night. It's great because the kids have to come to me and negotiate if they want more time rather me attempting to control their usage. The dynamics are much better.
At 16 I would say they are old enough to have responsibility for their phone but given the issues she is going through I would keep doing what your doing.
No one in our house has phones/devices in bedrooms overnight and Dd has family link on hers so it locks at 7:30pm - 7.30am she's not 16 yet but it won't change much. If there's moaning it becomes no phones upstairs, more moaning and it is no phone at all except for to &from school (they are not allowed to have them out during the school day).
We have that rule. My DS sat his A levels last summer and the phone downstairs rule was in place until he sat his final exam.
I have a 16 year old and 14 year old both at high school. They both leave their phones down stairs at night on charge. They have alarm clocks in their room (I’m not falling for that one!). Stick to your guns. You’re absolutely right. Sleep is so important for teens and everyone’s wellbeing, especially if your daughter is struggling with her mental health. It’s not treating her like a child it’s helping her take care of herself. The counsellor: any mental health practitioner worth their salt would not be working in this way, and understand the value of sleep, effects of blue light, social media etc. Is there a chance your daughter might be saying this to test out wether this might get you to re think your rule? I don’t let my DS’s have their phone until they’re ready for school in the morning (otherwise we’d never be ready). I work in CAMHS btw. Good luck
Thank you everyone
I really appreciate your responses. Being a mum is a teen is so tough, give me terrible twos any day.
Stick with it OP - you're doing the right thing 😊
My DD sounds v similar to yours (MH issues, counselling, on CAMHS waiting list), although she is only 14. We gave in and let her have the damn phone overnight for a while, as I fell for the 'it will reduce my anxiety blah'. Did it heck! Just made things worse as she had no self-regulation, sleep pattern became erratic as she was awake half the night then napping late afternoon, school refusals became more frequent sometimes due to sheer tiredness, and sometimes due to anxiety set off by social issues that had arisen late evening/early hours of the morning 😡
We've had enough, so DH has started collecting it from her at 11pm - she likes to listen to music before bed, so she's meant to come off social media by 10 🤔 He charges it overnight beside him so she can't sneak it back 😉😂 It's only been a couple of days, but so far, so good 🤞
15 and 13 year old here. No phones in room overnight. In fact mine have to hand screens in at 6.30pm until 7.45am. I get the “it’s so unfair comments” and stroppy behaviour. But they also tell me at other times that they are glad that I restrict access. It’s tough but stick to your rules.