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Does a Parent Have Control Over a Child’s Phone?

Even if They Bought it With Their Own Money?

Does a Parent Have Control Over a Child's Phone

It depends on what you mean by the word “control.” Do the parents have the authority to confiscate it (for example, as a punishment)? I would say yes.

Do they have control over what the child does on it? I would say to some degree. That’s where the gray area starts, though, since different families will have different rules regarding device usage (some more lenient, some more strict).

I think this is much less about who bought the phone and more so about the child’s autonomy versus the parent’s authority. It’s not always easy to strike the ideal balance, but we’re all working at it every day.

Lean too far toward your child, and they may become addicted to their phone, lose necessary sleep, forgo real conversation and family time as opposed to online hobbies, etc. Lean too far toward your parental authority, and your child may feel frustrated, micromanaged, try to hide what they’re doing and go behind your back (not necessarily because they’re doing something bad but because they want some privacy).

You’ll generally hear things along the lines of: “Mom, I’m not a kid anymore, stop treating me like one!” “ Maami, please just leave me alone!” and “Don’t you trust me?” *might get a slap for that though* LOL

Yeah, none of those sound ideal, do they?

As a parent, when you give your child a phone, you are (to some degree) allowing them digital freedom. They can choose what social media to use, what games to play, what things to search on Google, etc. Of course, the issue (and danger) is that there is just so much information out there, and so many hidden digital alleys where scammers, hackers, and online predators lurk.

READ ALSO: Parenting: Providing Security and Stability for Kids

79% of youth unwanted exposure to pornography occurs in the home and 15% of children between ages 10 and 17 has had at least one person contact them with sexual intent.

Teens often think they know enough about the world to protect themselves (I sure did back when I was 16), but it’s frightening just how easily they can fall into traps set by online predators.

Kids: If your parents are setting phone rules with you, it’s to protect you, not just from online predators and inappropriate content, but also from becoming too engrossed in the digital world that you can’t take your eyes off the screen.

You’re also under their authority, so despite the fact that you might not agree with everything they do, you should respect their rules and parental authority. (Of course, this is always dependent on the situation, but for the most part it holds true.)

When we first decided to give our eldest a phone, we originally decided on a low-cost text and call-focused cell phone.

However, he made a fair argument for a smartphone, and we agreed to it under the condition he would pay whatever was more than what we originally agreed to (it was a difference of a little less than certain amount).

Two years later, he asked for a larger data plan, and told us he would pay for it with his part-time job. (Of course, we agreed. We did remind him to regulate how much time he spent on his phone though.)

MUST READ: 10 Things Only Nigerian 90s Kids Will Totally Relate To.

In essence, your son did pay (at least in part) for his cell phone; but, you (as parents) retained the authority to manage his phone usage. This meant no phones at the dinner table, no staying up past 12 a.m. on his phone (although you might became a lot more lenient with this in the following years), and the final condition that if there was ever any issue, he communicate it with you directly.

So, do her parents have control over it? Yes, to some degree. They are the parents, and until the child leaves their care, they will have some kind of authority over what their child does on their phone.

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