NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Some parents who try to cut off their kids from social media by taking their phones may be in for a wake-up call.
Teens are now finding secret ways to stay connected.
CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez explains how parents are getting “burned.”
When phone-obsessed teens have habits that keep them on the phone all day, parents lay down the law.
“She is not allowed to talk on the phone after 7:30,” said parent Orli Musai Shalom.
“They couldn’t take it to school, and only have it a couple of hours a day,” said parent Ed Heck.
Student Reshia Regis says his parents said they want him to spend an hour and a half with the phone. But when Reshia, 16, abused his phone privileges, his parents took it away for a month.
“It was hell,” he said.
Parents expect to hear complaints when they take their kids’ phones away. Family therapist Tammy Gold says it’s a red flag when kids stop complaining.
“Just punishing and giving a whole bunch of rules without connecting is not going to help the situation. Because kids are crafty,” Gold said.
Crafty enough to go behind their parents’ backs and secretly buy prepaid burner phones – basically disposable phones – to stay connected with their friends.
“I hear people buying phones. So if they do get their phone taken away because of that, they have another phone to go on,” Reshia said.
Gold says parents need to set rules and consequences, then establish mutual trust with open communication, explaining why phone rules are needed while allowing children to express their reasons for wanting more freedom or phone time.
“When the child says ‘I don’t get to talk to my friends for a whole week, if you make it 8, can we make it 8:30?’ There has to be some give and take,” Gold said.
“You need to understand where kid is coming from,” Shalom said.
“I’m a kid. I want to be on social media, you know? Live my best life, you feel me?” Reshia said.
He says it’s especially hard to argue with his parents’ rules when they pay his phone bill.