Parents have to pick and choose their battles with kids, and sometimes, it can be tough to decide what’s worth fighting over. With technology playing such a prominent role in our lives, one of the big questions that many parents face is whether or not to limit their child’s time with certain devices, including cell phones. Here are some things to consider when deciding whether or not to take away your child’s cell phone at night:
It could be impacting their sleep
Sleep deprivation can be a real concern for parents of young kids and teens. It’s a fact that children need a decent amount of sleep each night for their growing bodies and minds to develop in a healthy way. The National Sleep Foundation states that teens need to get 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night. If your teen is staying up late in bed playing on their phone, they may not be getting the rest that they need, and it can impact their health, their attitude, and their performance in school.
Parents can set boundaries
One good reason to consider taking the cell phone away at night is to set boundaries for your child. Having a mobile device could be considered a privilege, and one that is reserved for the daytime hours. By making a rule that cell phones need to be left in a common area overnight, parents can enforce boundaries and set limits. A designated area in a common room could be the perfect place for everyone to leave their cell phones in the evening, and they could also be plugged in to charge so that the battery is full for the next day.
Kids need quiet time
While cell phones are an excellent tool to keep people connected at any time and from anywhere, it’s important that kids understand that it is okay to be alone, quiet, and independent at times. Phones and the internet allow us to communicate instantly through email, texts, and social media messaging, but we can quickly become dependent on the need for constant interaction. Cell phones can be a distraction, and kids can easily become accustomed to the constant stream of communication that phones bring. You can help your child have some calming, quiet time away from social interactions by keeping them from their mobile device in the evening. Don’t think of it as a punishment, but rather as something that will truly benefit them.
Ultimately, it is up to you as a parent to decide whether or not taking away the cell phone at night is what is best for your child and your family. You may consider setting it down as a rule when you give your child their first cell phone, which will turn it into a habit. This can prevent it from becoming a point of contention, and it can simply be one of the regular rules of the household. Consider that your child will likely get a more restful night’s sleep without technology devices in their bedroom, and without the distractions that a cell phone can bring.