i want to know how to keep my teen off of her cell phone without shutting it off or taking it from her!

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Chris - posted on 12/26/2012

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I recently added.my girlfriends daughter.our acct. Unfortunantly we put her on the unlimited plan with us. Very big mistake. The.phone has taken her.life over. We cut her texting back so she has downloading "Kim messaging" to avoid using or managing her texting. This of course is cheating. She has this phone in her face at all times and carries the phone with her around the house like she is going to miss something. What do I do. It was my idea to get her the phone.

User - posted on 11/20/2012

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I use Verizon's time restrictions - off during school hours and after a certain time in the evening during the school week. Trusted contacts can still call through, but the rest of the contact list is off limits.



911 is never shut off.

Debora - posted on 04/23/2009

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Times are so different than they used to be. I finally gave into a phone for my 13 year daughter. I made a contract stating what needed to be done before she could use her phone. Things like chores and homework. Thanks to powerschool I can check to see if homework is turned in. If homework is not turned in I take phone away. I don't mind her using phone if her obligations are met. I had her sign this contract. This is something SHE has agreed to. In this contract it is stated the phone will be taken away if obligations are not met. This was it is HER responsibility to comply and therefore HER fault, not MY fault if phone is not permitted. I think this will also teach her what signing a contract means. Good luck, this is not easy to do, but very effective if you follow through with consistency.

Cheryl - posted on 03/27/2009

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I see someone already told you about the parental controls through Team Mobile. I just want to say that one of my favorite things about it is that we can indicate that she can call myself, her grandfather and her big sister but no one else. This allows her to always be able to call for help if she would ever need it.

Christina - posted on 03/11/2012

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why does she have one to begin with. did she go get a job to pay for it?

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Jo - posted on 02/05/2013

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invite the ppl she talks to so she spends time with them and let her have a healthy social life instead of making her world a phone... and most important be a cool friendly mom that remembers how teenage life is... the only thing that replaces something a child favors is a new favourite... no hobbies she wishes to have? music, swimming, anything to fulfill the time and most important is to be in direct contact with friends, study together and hang out as a healthy social network for her age

Karen - posted on 01/31/2013

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I would manage the time through the phone company. They can turn it off and on as directed by you. Do this until she has shown responsibility on her own to handle the privlige. Remember a cell phone is not a necessity but privlige.

Carla - posted on 01/04/2013

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So the environment becomes WW3 and she hates you. That doesn't mean it doesn't work.

If you allow your teenager to bully you into giving you the phone back because you aren't comfortable with WW3 & you don't like her hating you....it means YOUR PARENTING IS NOT WORKING - and has nothing to do with the success or failure of the approach.

Carla - posted on 01/04/2013

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If you don't want her to turn it off.....have her set it in a specific place in the house - where she isn't. She can have the volume up for calls - and the text messaging alert on silent of some very inconsequential sounding tone. I would recommend the kitchen window or something like that - where she isn't 'hanging out'. If she doesn't listen - you have to take it away & then the next time, she will understand that when you tell her to put it in the special spot, she has one choice - do it or lost it. But you have to take the iTouch, iPad, etc. away as well. There are many messaging apps that kids get around.

Allison Ann - posted on 01/03/2013

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Good question. I have a teen who managed to make 22 friends while being grounded from her laptop and phone. Hmmm how did she manage that one? I took two laptops and phones to work, had a babysitter, was gone only 3 1/2 hrs but somehow she gained 22 fb friends! UGH help!

Curtis - posted on 12/07/2012

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You are the parent. Take the phone away. Only issue it to her when she needs it. The other thing to do is shut of... or limit texting. Teens don't call each other any more.

Tracy - posted on 03/29/2012

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I have made rules in the house to when and when you can not be on your phone. Any time we have dinner, or if we go away for a "girls" weekend( I am a single mom) there is no phones but mine in case of emergencies. I think as the parent you are entitled to make the rules, even if she did buy the phone herself, its just having a lil bit of respect. I also take the cell phone away at 1030 at night, no need to have a phone after that time unless its for a particular occasion. School nights I take the phone.

your kid should have some boundries, establish some rules. I would suggest you start a conversation about how the phone is distracting for you...own how it makes you feel so she doesnt feel like you are attacking her.

Good luck!

Carla - posted on 01/25/2012

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You can't. If you don't want her on it - take it. And, after a while, you can give her it back in spurts - but with the rules - TURN IT OFF - When I say to turn it off.



The constant text messaging is a huge distraction.

Quanda - posted on 01/25/2012

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Oh, I have put my daughter's phone on seasonal standby when she did not adhere to the rules. Our children must learn from their parents that there will always be consquences for breaking the rules.

[deleted account]

Other than taking it or using parental controls, I supposed you could take a hammer and bash it into an unrecognizable mess. Okay, just kidding about that, but if your teen has her cell phone, she will use it. It is a given.



One thing we've done is set a rule of not talking after a certain time. We check the records online occasionally (she never knows when we might check) and if it shows she was talking past that time, she loses the phone for a few days. We give her another chance after that.



The goal is to allow her the opportunity to be responsible and follow the rules, but to reinforce consequences if she does not. Good luck! Raising teens is challenging.

Emily - posted on 01/24/2012

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I think it really depends on you as a parent, and your teen. But if a teen is not going to respect the rules, whether they are your rules, or ones she created via a contract, then you may need to shut it off or take it from her. If you're unwilling or unable to do this, then accept that you won't be able to keep your teen off.



In response to the person who says making a contract doesn't work, I disagree. But like any agreement, it's only as strong as the people who enter into it. If you don't enforce it, then the contract is meaningless.



I've heard that having the teen create the rules and guidelines in a contract is actually very effective as long as the parents stick to the consequences in the contract. Many parents are surprised by how creative and more strict the kids are in creating the rules.

Angela - posted on 01/23/2012

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AT&T has smart limits which is parental controls. You can set and change time of day restrictions and you can set how many texts and minutes their allowed to use every billing cycle.

Quatavious - posted on 01/23/2012

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What cell company do you have? AT&T has smart limits where you can set specific times for her to be able to use her phone. It was very useful for me but I couldn't afford the cost for 2 cell phones.

Cindy - posted on 01/23/2012

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Our family rule is once our daughters walk in the door, their phone goes by the back door and they get it again when we leave for school in the morning. If their friends have something to say to them, they can call our house phone. If our children go over their texting limits, they have to pay for the excess and lose their phone for a period of time. Our oldest daughter still could not live within her limits and owed us a lot of money, so we permanently took texting off of her phone. Personally, I think if we have a home phone, they can use that while at home and actually TALK to their friends. I don't want my child lost in texting on the phone, I want them to interact by TALKING to their friends....and us.

Linda - posted on 01/22/2012

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Does your provider have a program that lets u stop calls during certain hours?

Tracy - posted on 11/16/2011

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I take my girls cell phones at 10pm at night, and they get them when going to school in the morning. The school has a no cell phone policy at one (13) and my 15 year old can use hers at lunch. The kids phones also play music, and I find that they arent always texting, but listening to music on it. My other rule is no texting at the dinner table, and also when we are driving somewhere in the car, they need to contribute to the conversations, not just have there face into the phone texting or listenting to music. I make the joke sometimes that the real world around them is more interesting then what is rockin in the ear drum or converations via txt. I think just setting some limits will give you each control over the issue.

Nelly - posted on 11/05/2010

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My 2 oldest kids have cell phones but they are on a pay as you go they each have 100 minutes a month

Tracy - posted on 07/19/2009

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we have unlimited text but we have put a limit on our teens to 10,000 texts a month to me that is a bunch! we have told them that for every text over that means that many days with out a phone. for example if they have 10,056 that means 56 days with out a phone. I know it is a stiff punishment but we dont have the phones out when we r at the tamle or when jobs are being done. it has worked for us. good luck.

Deneene - posted on 07/13/2009

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It's a matter of respect & we have to teach the kids that there is a time/place for all things and in our presence they will behave accordingly. I know it sounds good but is tough to enforce. My 15yr old daughter is a good girl overall. But she has definitely tried to get over every now & then. So I use the TMobile feature to shut the phone down at night so there's no talking when I'm asleep. Also, this same feature allows you to limit the minutes. Your teen will talk less & less during the day when they know their minutes are limited, and if you shut the phone down at a certain time, they won't be on late at night either to try and use the free nights. :0) We have to always try to be a step ahead of them. Thank God for the TMobile Rep who introduced me to this feature! Parents have to stick together!

Susan - posted on 07/12/2009

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with my daughter, I pretty much had to make her realize time and place just like a house phone....dinnertime,dont answer it, stays in the living room after a certain time at night, etc... DO NOT ANSWER IT when were talking! you just gotta lay down the law. if they dont respect it then u will have to take it away!

Julie - posted on 07/11/2009

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we have verizon so it makes it easier for her not to talk (if that made sense lol) when we originially got the phone it was for emergency calls between her and myself,husband,my brother or my mother. I have an unlimitied text bundle so she was allowed to text anyone she wanted. Her rules for talking were only allowed if it was a weekend or to another verizon customer where it was free. she isnt allowed to use any minutes (to other numbers) unless it was important. If she was home she was to use the house phone. I also have the internet and applications blocked from her phone so she is not allowed to go online IM or buy anything (i.e. ringers/games etc) and she is not allowed to use it at all for any reason after 9pm and not before 7am. My husband goes through her texts and calls incoming and outgoing to make sure there is nothing inappropriate in the texts or pics and no calls were made that didnt need to be. If we find there was or she doesnt behave properly we do take it for a day or 2 depending on the problem we had with her. She loves her phone so even with all the rules shes pretty good with following them with a slip up here or there but she knows anything major and the phone will be permanently shut off and she dont want that so she tries to stick with the rules. Most teenage girls only want to text now a days and it doesnt cost anything on my plan so I let her go at it. As for the cost..its only 10 a month for her extra line and we all share the minutes and we never go over sice again verizon to verizon is free and most everyone we know has verizon. sorry this is long but hope it helps a little. Rules and guidelines should help if they want it bad enough. :)

[deleted account]

Lots of people use cell phones only, and if you are one of those people, this won't help you. If not, maybe you can make the rule that once you get home, the cell phone goes off. If you need the phone, use the house phone. I used to do that with my daughter. That way I can monitor how much time she spends on the phone and who she is talking to. I hope this helps.

Cheri - posted on 07/06/2009

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Quoting Debora:

Times are so different than they used to be. I finally gave into a phone for my 13 year daughter. I made a contract stating what needed to be done before she could use her phone. Things like chores and homework. Thanks to powerschool I can check to see if homework is turned in. If homework is not turned in I take phone away. I don't mind her using phone if her obligations are met. I had her sign this contract. This is something SHE has agreed to. In this contract it is stated the phone will be taken away if obligations are not met. This was it is HER responsibility to comply and therefore HER fault, not MY fault if phone is not permitted. I think this will also teach her what signing a contract means. Good luck, this is not easy to do, but very effective if you follow through with consistency.


We had out daughter do this too - but she just said she had no choice and never follows it.  When we try to make her keep to the contract then she hates us and it is WW3.  This does not work.

Tara - posted on 05/29/2009

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Phones are a problem with my 13 yr also, we got hers for a safety reason or she wouldn't even have one. Her phone has to be in the living room on charging valet every night by 9, no texting until all homewk and chores and band practice is done, and no phone during family time. she still has lapses but the key is setting boundaries and sticking to them. some of her friends are texting very late into the night. So I made her text them a message that she wasn't allowed to get text after 9. alot of it is peer pressure.

Ortiz - posted on 05/24/2009

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I have the same problem last year I fought with my pre teen because of the cell phone and all the drama gossip she was getting into. This generation is smart, tech literate and smooth operators. Guidlines and rules are effective- Priority #1 no phone on school night after certain time - turn in the phone or have it shut off via phone plan - weekends ok after chores. Set boundaries-phone, curfew,attitudes; praise is also a great motivator they feel good about what we think about often times they will brush it off but they get it. Having family plans helps -one rule family time is family time she has to leave her phone at home.

Carolee - posted on 05/18/2009

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Hello Nicole ! How about giving her some guidelines .If she can stick to them then she can set her own time to be on. For example she can be on from 7-8 pm or from 6-7. We have family day every saturday . Kids have friends day on friday. I always know I can plan something and they have their focus on family and not friends It's Cell phone free zone :D The cell phone goes to bed at 9 or what ever time works for your family . Hope my suggestions helped .

DeAnna - posted on 05/07/2009

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My teen has a cell phone and uses it a lot, but to get her off of it I get her involved in what is going on in the house. I usually get her to help me make diner or have her talk to me on the kitchen counter while I do dishes. She tried testing still while we made dinner and I asked her to tell them that she would text back later and that she was busy.

[deleted account]

My 13yr daughter has unlimited text on hers. She text so much- her 1st phone-the buttons fell off. She's using an old one of my husbands now. It keeps shutting off on her. I laff!! Phone's off at dinner and church (of course). Her grades are good. Chores get done (most of time). We're ok with it.-Now.

Rochelle - posted on 04/26/2009

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We just made a new rule, after seeing our daughter's grades. She has to give us the cell phone every weeknight, at 7 pm, so she can concentrate on her school work. Of course she had a melt down, but we stuck to our guns and it's working.

Sainnie - posted on 03/21/2009

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We had the same problem with my daughter until we got T-mobile.  They have a family allowance plan that allows you to shut down a phone via the web for however long you decide to shut it down.  You have the power to turn it on and off. 

Debbie - posted on 03/13/2009

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In my family there has been a rule and that is no cell phones until you have a job and you drive.  The reason for waiting until then is it makes them responsible for the bill and in case of an emergency like their car broke down, etc..  My boys never really asked for a phone until then, but my daughter (14) she uses my phone and is limited to time for txt. based on her behavior and grades in school.  If she needs me there is enough kids she knows who will lend them their phone.  If she gives me a hard time getting off when told she cuts her time down the next phone usage.  Weekends she gets a little more time on phone but it is broken up throughout the day.  Ex. 45 mins. to hour in a half on weeknights and up to 3 hrs. sat. and sun. but it is broken up however she decides.  I think by her not owning a phone until she is like 16 it puts most of the control time in my hands and makes it easier to do so.  Of course I can't control what she does when she is with her friends and using their phones, but trust me I have voiced my opionion on that and stressed that her friends parents are not paying for her to use their child's phone.  That falls under respect for other parents.  Good luck!  I know it's hard. 

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