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 transition. 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 the cell phone drop zone printable (download is at the bottom of the post) 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!

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21 Comments

  1. I love this article. It certainly is one that needs to be shared. I’m going to share this on my Facebook page at Educating Today. Thanks for sharing your heart and taking a stand. I think this can spread a little farther and include spouses too. I can’t count the number of times we have been in a restaurant and have seen husbands and wives with their eyes on their phones instead of having their eyes on each other. (I won’t mention the fact that I’ve been guilty of this too. 🙂

  2. Thanks so much for this. I get so aggravated with people when they visit when all they do is stare into their phone. This is a nice way of asking everyone to be in the moment with the people you are with.

    1. They can text anywhere on our main floor. Our rule is that we must know the phone password at all times and that we have the right to look through the phone at any time. We do random checks of our kid’s phones.

  3. I put my email in but I could not get the download to work. Is,there a way you could send it to my email directly please. I would greatly appreciate it!

  4. I get your newsletter, and this week you sent an email about fortnite and video games. Long story, but I deleted the email and now want to read it again. But don’t know how to find it. Can you help me?

  5. It seems there is an issue with getting this printable sent to the emails we are providing. I submitted my email address as well and have not received the printable either. Might you be able to send this cellphone print out to me? Thank you for your time.

    1. Hi Melissa- I get a number of comments of people asking me to send the printable…but typically you might have to wait just a bit for it to show up in your inbox :)…I see yours got delivered to you!