Taking away devices can negatively affect a relationship between a parent and child

Hazel Bentley

More stories from Hazel Bentley

Goodbye for now
January 5, 2023

On Nov. 4, I got my phone taken away from me for one night, and for the whole night, I thought ‘this is the most stupid punishment ever.’

At 5 p.m., my dad was going to arrive at my mom’s house to take me and my brother to stay the weekend at his—as we usually do every other weekend—but I was not informed that 5 p.m. was the plan, I believed it was six. Sparing the details, I was not home by five and ended up getting my phone taken away for that one night.

According to Your Teen Magazine, 65% of parents use taking cell phones and other electronic devices away as a form of punishment, my parents included. 

Over the years, technology has become more and more common for most teenagers to have some form of technology: that includes cellphones, computers, or iPads. Parents have realized that and have used that to their advantage for quite some time, teenagers have despised the moment that they get their phone taken away or even threatened to get it taken. Studies have found that instead of being a good punishment, it is instead a punishment that can only be used in certain situations and can make kids think less of their parents and affect their relationship between them and their children in a more negative way. 

As devices become more common, they have been embellished by a part of development.  

Cellphones and the internet have started to become an important part of development for teens: they can learn to communicate, socialize, and help find a way to maintain the balance of using their devices. 

But with that, there is a downside to the internet. Panda Security stated 15% of students in America reported getting cyberbullied, and in that case, take away the devices, and only in cases where it is directly connected to the internet. 

With that point, there are ways to reduce the amount of cyberbullying, such as restrictions that can be made on the internet, and if it cyberbullying happens at least once, one can try a different form of punishment that will make a deep connection to whatever had happened.

The most important thing to do when punishing is to connect the punishment to whatever happened, if it has no relation the punishment—like taking away a device when it was unrelated—will seem more unfair.

The most important thing to do when punishing is to connect the punishment to whatever happened, if it has no relation the punishment -like taking away a device when it was unrelated- will seem more unfair.”

In other conditions when someone did wrong has no relation to the phone. It is unreasonable and can make a parent’s relationship with their child actually worse. Childmind reported, If they didn’t come home on time, it’s better to ground them than cut off all communication with their friends.

Relationships with parents will be affected if devices are taken away, it might make the teenager more inclined to lie or even sneak the device to text, call, or even check social media. 

Beth Peters, Ph.D., clinical psychologist who specializes in teens and families, said, “When you remove a teen’s lifeline to their friends, there will be a major emotional backlash, a breakdown of the parent-child relationship.”

In a way, stripping me away from my friends, social media, and Netflix has affected my relationship more than anything else.