2 weeks ago - last edited 2 weeks ago by Hannah-RO
Hello my wife and I are at a complete loss at what to do. Our 14 year old son has had a smartphone for a long time now.
We mostly got it so he could communicate with his father and family and socialize with friends. He had always had issues. Him abusing times him not sleeping. Lots of attitude. We take it away he gets worse he calms down we give it back then some time goes by and it starts over.
We added and tried many parenting apps but his gets angry about it. So recently we tried to give him what he wanted. No parental controls. He has been on discord constantly, We recently found out he is on it during school, up to 1AM on school nights and talking inappropriately. He is also having issues trying to talk to girls, every girl he talks to he tries to flirt with to the point his friends are telling him it's a problem. He has some good friends but on there but shows no maturity. He also mentions self-harm. We do feel it is a cry for attention but at the same time he has been seeing a therapist for over a year. But we don't know how effective it's been.
His father is no help and does everything he can to prevent any kind of co parenting. Blaming us for babying him with all the parental locks, Also pushing this mocho man girls are objects be a "pimp" mentality. Or son even talks about his dad being proud he "flirts"with so many girls...
I know this is a lot to unfold at once but we have no idea how to handle this. Our last thought was take his phone and get him a flip phone but we don't want to take away his social circle especially during COVID and distance learning. Also how will he learn that maturity if we take it away?
2 weeks ago
I understand there is a lot going on for you and your family, good on you reaching out for some support
Issues with phone use is something we chat about quite a bit on the forums, you are certainly not alone <3 It is really tough to know what boundaries are best to set, and you’re right that covid has made that even harder. I’m going to link some content around setting technology boundaries that has some useful info in it. One of the suggestions in that piece is to reconnect with an enjoyable activity, is there something your son does that he really enjoys that doesn’t use his phone? Sometimes doing things all together can be a good way for the whole family to take a technology break too, is there something you like doing all together?
I understand your son is engaging in self-harm and this can be quite confronting as a parent, we’ve got some resources here on self-harm that have some good tips in them if you wanted to check them out. It’s great your son has been engaging with support from a therapist, I’m wondering if you’ve spoken to your son about how he feels this is going?