More than 90% of UK teenagers now own a mobile phone, and it may come as little surprise to learn that three quarters of them regard it as their most prized possession. With that in mind, if your parenting techniques still involve bedroom-confinement or no pocket money, you may want to try a slightly different approach to bring your children into line.
As the Telegraph reports, a new study by T-Mobile, which surveyed more than 4,000 parents and teenagers, revealed that one-sixth of 11 to 18 year-olds said that their parents confiscating their mobile phone would be the most frustrating form of punishment. That may not seem much, but this figure shoots up to 80% for those with a smartphone.
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With smartphones, it’s easier for teenagers to connect with friends through instant messaging apps such as BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), which is free to use. Only 15% of the teenagers surveyed said that they’d had their phone confiscated almost once a month in over the past year, and the most common reason given was overspending.
If you’re now thinking of going down the mobile phone confiscation route, that still may not be enough, given that phones are so cheap these days. A tenth of the teenagers surveyed confessed that they had bought a second mobile phone without telling their parents, to circumvent the problem of being parted from their main handset for an unspecified period.
If your teenager is less of a smartphone addict and more of a gamer or music lover, all is not lost, as MP3 players and consoles also ranked highly on the list of the most commonly confiscated possessions. So whatever your kid’s technological foible, it seems you’ll always have some way to keep them in check.