How can I limit my teen's texting?
Real Mom Problem
“My son is soon to be 17 and so far for the month has over 16,500 texts! We still have 12 days left on our billing cycle!”
- 1. Set time limitations, such as no phones during dinner or after a certain hour
- 2. Be sure your child is not just texting because he's bored
- 3. Remind your teen of the dangers of texting and driving
Real Mom Solutions
See what these moms suggest you do about getting your teen's obsession with texting under control.
Some Moms Set Texting Restrictions
We have Verizon and they have something called "Parental Controls" for the phone. You have a lot of options for limiting or monitoring your kids' usage. I am sure that other carriers have something similar. When grounded or in trouble, I can block all calls and texts to and from everyone except family members. I have blocked all calls and texts to anyone except family members between bedtime and 6:00 am. (My daughter was staying up all night texting friends. Now she can't.) We do not allow phones at the table or excessive use during family time.
We had issues with our daughter who's 17. I did some research and the average number of texts a teen sends and receives in a month is about 2,500. She was averaging 23,000! That is ridiculous. I think it is a parent's responsibility to place limits on stuff like this. Our house rules are 1,500 per month, more in summer. No texting during school and no texting after 9:00 pm on weeknights and 10:00 pm on weekends.
My teens have to hand over their communication devices at 9:00 pm. There is no socializing past then, including computer usage. In fact we have a "No Screens" policy (anything with a screen is off limits) in effect at our house from 9:00 pm to 7:00 am daily. We homeschool, so vacations are no exception. The boys have no problem with this particular rule, but my daughter thinks that I am ridiculously overprotective and I'm just unfair. Good. That means I'm doing my job.
I'd take the phone away at mealtimes, during homework, bedtime, and strictly NO USE during school unless it's to Dad or me. Any use during school (when it should be OFF and in the locker) is grounds for it being taken away for a couple days! These kids today are way too attached to their cells and not attached enough to PEOPLE!
I have my kid's phone pretty much on a timer. At 11pm, it's off.
No phone while doing homework, and I take the phone at 9:00 pm (bedtime) on school nights.
The docking/charging station is in our room and everything gets docked there at night.
Others Let Teens Text Freely
How are his grades? Do you read his texts? If his grades are good and the texts are clean then I wouldn't worry about it. They might not be long texts. You know kids...yes...no...what ya doin?. They might not be that big of a deal. But if they are not good texts then you have different issues.
As long as his grades are good, his attitude's fine, and he's still doing his chores, I wouldn't care how much he texts.
As long as they are doing well in school, extra-curricular activities, social life, and not texting and driving I think it's okay to text.
Keep Teens Busy with Other Activities
I don't think the main issue is the number of texts but whether he is only texting and not doing anything else. If you think it is interfering with life, then yes put boundaries on.
If he's sending 200-300 texts a day at school, he clearly needs a different academic setting. Get him out of there and into a vocational program or college.
Perhaps he needs more constructive activities? My kids are younger, but between sports, karate, chess lessons, piano, scouting and homework, they could not possibly manage the time for that many text messages. Ever. If they found the time, I would grab their phone.
Best cure for too much texting? Crank up her life: harder classes and more after-school activities.