I show concerned parents who want to give their children the best start to life how to better understand their children.

5 Feb 2013

10 Ways to Get Your Child to Put Down Their Cell Phone

Has your child’s cell phone become an extension of her hand? Between talking, texting, tweeting, taking pictures, sending emails, and playing games, kids have access to an endless amount of entertainment with their cell phones. This can get exceedingly frustrating for parents who rarely see more than the top of their children’s heads. Concerned parents are finding it more and more difficult to get their kids to pay attention to anything besides their phones. For those who are encountering resistance, here are 10 ways to get your child to put down her cell phone.
  1. Go to a movie – Cell phone use in movie theaters is severely frowned upon, so offer to take your child to a movie of their choice, but only if they hand over the phone first. This way the kid gets to watch a good movie and not annoy the other patrons.
  2. Other activities – Get your kids involved in other activities that force them to put down the phone. Sewing, painting or playing a musical instrument are some examples of things to get children involved with where they can use their hands in other ways. You can’t play the flute and text at the same time.
  3. Sports – Another way to get the cell phone out of kids’ hands is to get them involved in sports. Coaches are not going to allow kids to take their phones with them on the field and play. Children in sports will be forced to put the phone down and get some exercise.
  4. Lay down the law – If none of these ideas work, you may just have to lay down the law. You’re the parent and you make the rules, so establish some guidelines and enforce them. For instance, make a rule that there will be no cell phones at the dinner table. Have a basket on the counter where all phones are placed during dinner.
  5. Bribery – Some kids may be more susceptible to bribes, so some not-so-subtle bribery may work to detach the phone from your child’s hands. Offering money may not be a good idea, but shopping or concert tickets could work. Just make sure you get the phone before handing over the goods.
  6. Food – Another path to a child’s heart (and hands) may be through the stomach. Prepare their favorite snack to get their attention and then demand the phones in exchange for your generosity. Explain that caramel corn and cell phones just don’t work well together.
  7. Scare tactics – If you start to get really desperate, scare tactics may be in order. Fake snakes or spiders could startle kids into actually dropping their phone. By being inventive and possibly a little diabolical you may actually scare your child into releasing the phone long enough for you to grab it.
  8. Hide the battery – If you manage to get brief possession of your child’s cell phone, you can try hiding the battery. This will ensure that the phone will be useless for as long as you require. Just imagine how much you can get that kid to accomplish before you return the battery.
  9. Threats – For kids who don’t respond to bribery and scare tactics, you may have to resort to threats. This is a tough position to be in as a parent, so make sure these are not idle threats and be prepared to follow through. Of course the biggest ultimatum is to threaten to discontinue their cell phone service.
  10. Cancel service – Finally, the most effective way to separate your child from their cell phone is to cancel the service. This may be a drastic measure, but unfortunately could become necessary. If all else fails, no cell phone service may be the wakeup call your child needs. Be prepared for tantrums.
The main reason parents typically give their children cell phones is so they can be contacted in the event of an emergency. Unfortunately the advances in technology have turned a necessary tool into a source of constant entertainment. Before allowing your child to get a cell phone, set realistic guidelines and make sure you enforce them. It’s much easier to stick to established rules than to try and enforce new ones after things have gotten out of hand. Just like any other addiction, too much attachment to a cell phone is not healthy. Get your child to put the phone down and enjoy all the other wonders life has to offer.

Syndicated, with consent, from http://www.fulltimenanny.com/blog/10-ways-to-get-your-child-to-put-down-their-cell-phone/

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  1. You missed the most important one. YOU pay for it. YOU make the rules. Create boundaries and rules AND enforce them!

  2. As I read that, I'm laughing.
    You are quite right!
    I think some parents have forgotten about the fact that they are paying for their child's 'toys'.

  3. I agree, as long as you’re paying for that device, your
    authority shall remain heeded. It’s hard to inculcate that it is for their own
    good but it’s worth a try. Or you can simply purchase a phone with the basic
    phone function like texting and calling with less apps to break the bind. Take
    for example the Just5 phone designed for kids with basic function no more no
    less, but it can be used for emergency purpose though.

  4. Hi Ruth
    You make a good point with the basic phone.
    I agree very much with it.
    It's all marketing nonsense today.
    Who needs a torch and all the other fluff that they put onto phones today?
    Who really needs (needs) it?
    We've been marketed the idea and we all buy into it.

    Bruce: if you are reading this, please share the link to that Huffington Post video you were in the other day.

    The reason I bring it up is because one of the guests talked about a cell phone contract that she drew up with her son.
    So smart!
    Basically, she gave her son a phone, but he had to sign a contract to get it.
    I don't remember exactly what was on it, except for one thing.
    If they child wanted to keep the phone, his parents were allowed to have his email and social network passwords at all times, so they could monitor his online activity.

    Just a little note on that though, as doing something like that can have a very negative effect on the relationship is not done correctly.
    The 'space' from where you ask for something like that has to be correct.
    It needs to come from a place of reason, building relationships, communication, understanding and mutual benefit.