Unplugging Your Kid


My daughters, Princess and Diva, are typical teenagers.  By typical I mean that a cell phone and/or iPod is always attached to them like an extra limb.  This fact is relevant to the story.  Let me back up for a moment.

Diva got into trouble at school.  Trouble that required a phone call from the assistance principal.  I hate getting those phone calls.  Consequences had to be suffered.

I did what any parent would do.  I did the gadget strip.  Gone were the cell phone, iPod and school issued tablet.  Access to the home computer and phone were restricted.  She was on a major timeout.

And she was miserable.  Which played into the genius of my plan.  Having a gadget junkie for a kid means that the most effective punishment is one that deprives her of her stuff.  (Insert Dr. Evil laugh here.)

However, there was one side effect that I didn’t anticipate.  Diva got on my last nerve.  The kid was utterly lost without the technical means to entertain herself.  She was bored.

I suggested reading a book (books are boring) or watching TV (my show isn’t on).  I told her to write in a journal (we do that in school) or clean her closet (I already did).  My suggestions were shot down in rapid succession.  Her solution was to find me no matter where I was in the house and tell me she was bored.  Then we had to have the discussion about choices and consequences.  She would disappear for a while only to reappear and we would have the same conversation.

I’m losing it, people.  But I must remain strong.  The punishment must be complete.

(Here she comes again.)

“Hi, Mom,” she says.

I silence a scream.  “Hey, Diva.  Want to read “The Hunger Games”?  I have it on my Nook.”

“No, I don’t like to read.  I just want to mess with you.”

I ask you.  Who is really be punished here?

Posted on November 27, 2012, in Writing Life. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Hold out….. If you give in now and there are other moments when you do a gadget strip, she will expect you to give in again. Hence, the gadget strip will become ineffective.


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