Your Kid Won't Listen Unless You Do This


cellphoneRemember when you were a teenager, and your mom sat you down at the table for a talk? And she always wanted you to "look at me when I'm speaking to you young lady?" Welcome to your daily dose of "today's kids have it sooooo much better than we did."

Face-to-face communication is dead y'all. You won't get anything out of them until you give them a cellphone. Because -- get this -- in a new study on kid/parent communication, 70 percent of teenagers said they talked on the phone with their parents at least once a day. Once a day! I know several teens who would go weeks without talking to their parents if they could!

OK, not such a big deal? Hold the phone. Literally! Because I'm not done! The kids who said they feel like they can reach out to their parents via cellphone when they need them also had more positive relationships with them!

Now I'm no social scientist, but I was a teenager once upon a time. Back when cellphones came in giant black bags and I thought I was cool for rocking my dad's beeper (which he forbade me from actually sharing the number to ... making it more or less useless, but dangit, it completed my look!).

I remember very clearly what it was like to have to talk to my parents about something I wasn't terribly comfortable addressing. With all those roiling hormones, being in the same room, being forced to look them in the eye, just made me feel more like zipping my lips. I would have killed for a way out, some way to not be branded a disrespectful brat but still get my point across.

The beauty of the cellphone is the distance. Whether it's a voice conversation or text, you don't have to look someone in the eye and face their judgment. For a naturally narcissistic teenager who just knows feels like EVERYONE is judging them, that can make all the difference between spilling their secrets and shutting you down. And a kid who opens up is a kid who will call you when their ride home has been drinking or they're thinking about smoking up. That's worth losing the ability to give my kid the evil eye AND the hefty texting bill.

Of course the study warns the kids whose parents call them constantly just get shut out anyway, so call your kids at your own peril. But if you treat your kids like you wanted to be treated as a teenager, you'll know when to draw the line! Shut up and share your digits, Mom and Dad!

Do your kids text and call you? How has it affected your relationship?


Image via alumroot/Flickr

family, behavior


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GlowW... GlowWorm889

Yeah, but how many of those "conversations" went like this:

(Phone rings)

Teen: Hello? Mom, I'm out with my friends. Yes, I'll be home for dinner. No, I haven't taken the trash out yet. I know I promised to do it this morning. I that a crime? I'll do it when I get home. Yes, I will. I gotta go now. Mom--I gotta go. I'm hanging up now. *click*

Because I don't know about anyone else, but the majority of the conversations I had with my parents when I was a teen were disputes over rules, chores, and basically them being "uncool". Just because they talk on the phone doesn't make it a meaningful conversation, and this is definitely not enough for me to condone giving cell phones to teenagers.

nonmember avatar mvallerie

I have two teens and can attest to the fact that our communication is far better than mine was with my parents. I text daily with my son in college. I'm sorry but that's a miracle in my book. My daughter (16) texts me whenever she runs into any issues when out and about. Now granted, I don't think they share everything but I am thankful I have the communication I do with them.

Not giving a teen a cell phone in this day and age is sticking your head in the sand and inviting an attitude of "I'm not telling mom anything".

donomom donomom

Really? As parents we need to rely on this type of communication as opposed to our good common sense about raising our children? In my household we talk every day, face to face. We have meals together and check in. I'm not suggesting my teens always like this way of doing business but I wish, as a parent, more parents would be on board so that when the critisms begin to fly they were not always in my direction of "no one does that anymore". I'm a single mom, working full time and I make sure I know what is going on with my kids all the time, as much as I can. It's true they don't always like it but my response is - that's my job. Not to be your friend and make sure you like me but to make sure my kids are getting the skills they need to get along with others, live cooperatively and mostly, responsibly. Yeah, it's a big pain and time consuming,and causes fights but if we as parents are not teaching our kids these skills, what are they learning about the world and how to be successful? Please, these types of posts are alarming and give carte blanche to this teacup generation of children who suffer trying to make it in the world right now without constant, continual affirmation and parents who don't want to confront their children, only to appease and hope for the best. That's an easy solution for parents who want their kids to like them and avoid confrontation, but certainly not the best in the long run for our society.

Mskyword Mskyword

I love the use of cell phones with my 3 girls.It keeps us connected at all times .I call it the umbilical cord.My youngest has ADHD and conversations with her can get heated very quickly  and textig really helps us communicate in a much more civilized way.When we text its calmer and needs and wants are more easily communicated.We tend to think in response to the text before we answer ad we just more often than not can take the emotion out and make better decisions There are definitely times where she does not want to talk to me but she will text me.I think you have to be creative when dealing with kids with ADHD and the texting helps..

Ricky... RickyBouchard

My son just turned 12 and I have a little girl a little less than a year old so I got a cell phone for him because the need was there when it wasn't before. Between his after school activities and the new baby, I really felt that we need to keep in touch more if only to call him before his baseball practice to say hello before I picke dhim up. I don't see the phone as taking away my parenting or seperating us, and in fact I tried to include him as much as possible with the purchase. We found a fairly simple and cheap phone from Tracfone that would let him call and text and that was about it -- I didn't want to be too distracted by it. So far, its worked and he actually has given me some of his allowance on occassion to increase the minutes, but I still worry. I hate that I had to kind of giving this responsibilty, but I hope its helping him gain a sense of responsibilty.

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