Nowadays parent’s biggest issue is cell phone distraction. They complain their teens never talks to them anymore, they just goes right up to their room and are on the phone for the rest of the day and night, teen doesn’t talk to parents in the car preferring to be on the phone texting with friends or playing with his apps the whole day. Teen’s biggest fear is staying away from their phones. They obsessively checking for missed calls, emails, and texts and using their phone in inappropriate places like the bathroom, class room, mosque or funeral and missing face-to-face interactions. The emotional center of their brain is more activated than the thinking part of the brain so brain is desperate for excitement. In the class thinking and planning what to text post or message is more fun than to be attentive in the lecture.
There are some common signs to watch as warning if your teen has fixation:
- If they seem uncomfortable when they are not allowed to use their Smartphone
- Insomnia restless nights
- Isolation from physically present friends and family
If you discover your teens have a problem you can help them. It’s all about setting limits. For your younger teens limit daily cell phone use to 30 minutes after school and 30 minutes at night. They have nothing important to discuss so it’s enough. For teens 13 and above set a two hour period every day when there is no cell phone is allowed. If they choose to argue on taking a break from their phone than tell them you will switch their smart phone for a regular flip phone; your choice. Don’t allow cell phone in bed during sleep time. Create “no phone” zones. You may consider allowing phones in common areas, but ban phones in bedrooms, bathrooms, or other private areas. Ban phones while driving or walking as well as during family meals and outings.