I have a thirteen year old daughter who is so much addicted to her phone, I’m so scared it may start affecting her school works in no time. What can I do to help her?
How do I help my teenage daughter get rid of her phone addiction?
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This is a good time to sit down with her and have a talk over. Explain that this situation has been reevaluated and will, from now on be different. That’s really not her phone because you provided it, pay for the plan etc. computer, phone all internet access goes through you. The agreement is you get to check on what she is doing/viewing at any time. Any attempt to hide the screen when you ask to see what she is doing is grounds for loss of privileges. Start with a day and double with each infraction. No switching screens, no tipping the screen down so you can’t see, you have complete access to history as well, no wiping histories. She is a child and you are her parent. Privacy is a privilege as far as devices are concerned and will be earned with actions and as she becomes older. Be ready for tears and tantrums. Stand firm. Also there are plenty of apps to help block her access to certain sites, use them!! If she removes them, loss of privileges again. You can also cut what access she has on your phone. There should be the rule of hours of operation. Not before 8am or after 6pm or whatever time you choose. Or only 2 or 3 hrs a day activity. Your call but I would suggest starting out with only a little bit of time. This is for her safety and to teach her safe practices online.
First, give her the opportunity to understand this beforehand. Talk to her rationally and inform her of the consequences that will follow if she doesn’t change. You have an obligation to protect her and keep her safe, not respecting her privacy. That does mean not only knowing who her friends are, but who she is communicating with online and what types of pictures and videos she’s viewing. It’s not that she cannot be trusted to make good decisions, but there are predators out there who will try to get access not only to her, but also you and your financial situation. Meaning, aside from the pedophiles, there are software programs that can be introduced to your network that are intended to capture passwords, banking details, and other confidential information. She might be smart enough to avoid the pedos, but is she smarter than the programmers, hackers and scammers too? Next, remembering that you’re the parent and set the rules, deal with the disobedience. If you cannot physically control her, then punish her other ways. Such as disconnect the cell service and changing the WiFi password. Yes, it will have an affect on how you manage life with her now but this is temporary. I say it’s temporary because everyone learns. What she’s learned so far is if she fits, she keeps her phone, and gets her way. Soon, she will learn how to behave in your household. She is 13, she needs to live within her boundaries and rules. That is what we expect from everyone in society.