My daughter’s friend Tina recently got her phone taken away for lying to her mom and dad. When I asked her why, she said that she was driving a golf cart and accidentally hit her brother’s foot. Well, her brother, Ryan, started crying and their mom freaked and wanted to know what happened. Tina, for fear of getting in trouble, lied and said he ran into the cart. Her brother said that was not not true, Tina ran into him. Her mom asked a neighbor who happened to have seen the incident and she supported what Ryan stated. Well, Tina’s mom was not only disappointed in Tina for lying, but extremely upset because she could have seriously hurt her brother.
Tina’s phone was taken from her as punishment and she does not know when she will be getting it back. Now, I understand what Tina did was wrong, but I don’t think the punishment fits the crime. I know every parent disciplines differently, but I would have at least told Tina her exact punishment — a day or two without the phone — or I would of had her do the laundry for a week.
I told Tina she needs to apologize to her brother for hurting him and apologize to her parents for lying and hurting her brother, even if it was an accident. Accidents happen, but lying will only hurt you in the end.
I have to wonder what punishment would Tina have gotten if she snuck out of her room and went drinking with friends at midnight. Would she have the phone taken away for a month? It’s unrealistic and I don’t think would work. If you keep taking the phone away as a punishment for everything your teen does, do you think it’s really going to continue working? For some teens, the first or second time their cellphone is taken away becomes their last. They realize it is too painful to be without it. Yet, some other teens become immune to losing their cell phones. Or, parents give in and give the phone back.
So, I pose this question: Does taking away a teen’s cell phone really work as punishment?