Removing their phones can give kids a much-needed break!

As annoying as constant texting is, it’s a normal part of life for many kids. Staying in touch with friends is important to tweens and teens. When we parents were teens, we talked for hours on the phone! Now the same kind of contact happens through texting.

However, if cell phone use is getting in the way of family time, homework, and other responsibilities, it might be time to help your kid manage his or her phone time.

Help kids find space for face-to-face conversations

Put phones down during key conversation times such as dinner or car rides.

Model the manners and behaviour you want to see

Avoid texting in the car. Consider narrating your phone use (“I’m looking up directions to the party”) so young kids understand the utility of the device. Make sure to excuse yourself if you have to interrupt a family moment to attend to your phone.

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Charge kids’ phones in your room at night

Removing their phones can give kids a needed break.

Establish consequences for problematic phone use

If your kids are having trouble putting the phone away when you ask or are engaging in other problematic phone-related behaviour, consider instituting temporary time or location limits. Some apps can disable your kid’s phone when he or she hits a limit.