It's summer, and your teens will fight you every step of the way when you politely ask them to hand over their phones at bedtime. And hand them over they must. I just learned a new term (see article below) vamping. This is the teen term for texting post-bedtime; hiding under the covers and taking selfies to document their nocturnal: "I can stay up as late as I want, my parents will never find out, and let's see who will have the last and latest text. I will, I will!!!!" as the clock chimes 3 A.M.
If you haven't learned how to shut off your teen's phone through your carrier, make that a priority, than you won't have to get into the power struggle that most assuredly will happen. "Give me your phone!"NO! "Give me your phone now! NO! If you don't give me your phone.....(fill in your threat du jour) This is no fun, but just in case you need some convincing about how important it is to do this, here are consequences of late night texting:
1. Texting is highly addictive, it will never be enough and as they go through life never being separated from their technological Binky their ability to be successful in school, and in life will be hampered. Just ask my college students who either flunked or got D's because their texting during class seemed more important than listening, interacting or taking notes in my class.
True story: After a particularly frustrating class with students texting away during their classmates presentations, I stopped the class, and asked them to share what they were texting, since obviously it seemed more important than listening, and participating. One of the guilty students, with not one bit of irony, said" I was engaged in a very important group text." Further probing revealed the group was arguing about a recent topless photo of Rhianna! And this student said with all seriousness, "I needed to have my voice heard." I rest my case.
2. Late night texting can lead to a late night plan to sneak out. No phone, no plan!
3. Nighttime is drama time, and teens love the drama. Fights with parents, fights with boy or girlfriends, or best friends, feelings of betrayal, exclusion, all scary things that go boo in the night. Cue furious texting!
4. We are raising a generation of kids with sleep disorders. Teens are losing the feelings of safety and security that come with the state of aloneness. With no time for reflection, mind wandering, they are not learning the self calming methods that often happen at bedtime. (think of all that time you spent sleep training your babies) This generation of teens often fear sleep and hate the feeling of being alone. This is an important life and coping skill.
Good night moon!