A Cell Phone Stole My Teen’s Personality {and how we got it back!}

cell phone drop zone printbale

When our boys were toddlers, I thought parenting was HARD! I a mean H.A.R.D. I used to get anxious for 5:30 to roll around because it meant my husband was about ready to walk in the door and “take over” kid duty. Phew!

I am learning that parenting at EVERY age and stage is H.A.R.D.  It’s just a different kind of hard. Sometimes it’s more physically exhausting and other times it’s more emotionally exhausting. At every stage we pour our heart and soul into our kids. We only have 18 {short} years. Friends, it is short. and fast. And it’s not a lot of time to develop and train our kids.

Enter the age of technology. UGH. Need I say more? These kids are pulled in to screens. On top of a natural draw, especially for boys, to want to be interacting with an electronic, our kids are required to have iPads for school. This adds even more electronic time to their day.

Enter teenage years. 13. This is the year our kids are allowed to get a phone. I had NO idea how much this would change our teen. Texting became a non-stop epidemic, an addiction.

We lost our kid.

We lost our communication.

We lost laughter.

We lost seeing his eyes.

Enter a new rule. Yes, it became time to implement a new rule. When you walk in the door, the phones hit a basket on the kitchen counter. If someone needs my child, he can hear the phone beep and go respond, briefly.  If he wants to text friends, he has to sit at the kitchen counter and text. This was a bit of a rough tranisition. We had resistance and a bad habit that needed to be broken. But thankfully, things are changing, with our teen.

We see his eyes again.

We are laughing and talking.

He is playing with his brothers.

We are getting our kid back.

Do you need to find your kid again?  Try implementing a cell phone drop zone. See what happens. Remember, stick with it. It’s not going to be easy. You will feel some resistance, but the end result is the best.

Grab this cell phone drop zone printable and a basket and set up a simple “drop zone” on your kitchen counter or in your mudroom.

Cell phone drop zone printable

You can take it one step further…if your teen is having friends over, they can toss their phones in the basket too! Will they think you are the crazy mom?!  Only for the first time or two they come over! And then they will realize how much fun they had while hanging out at your house!

cell phone drop zone printable

If you give it a try, leave me a comment and let me know how it goes in your house!  Have another solution?  I’d love to hear about, please share!