It seems every teen has a phone these days. Though it might have began as a way for parents to check in on their kids and a way for teens to call their parents in an emergency, by now it’s morphed into an obsession. With texting, apps, social media, music and a camera, teens are connected to their phones 24/7. This can especially be a problem when teens are allowed to have phones in their bedroom. If you’re unsure as to whether and why this can be problematic, here are a few reasons you might not want to allow your teen to keep their cell phone in their bedroom.
- Teens might not be using their phones responsibly. When parents allow their teen to have a phone in the privacy of their bedroom, parents might not know whether their teen is using their phone appropriately. Teens who aren’t properly monitored or don’t understand the dangers of certain online behaviours might be engaging in potentially harmful activities. This might include posting inappropriate photos online or chatting with strangers. They might even be bullying classmates through social media or be the victim of bullying on social media. Hidden away in their bedroom, parents might be none the wiser. All of this can have serious, even dangerous consequences, including to their personal safety. While it’s a good idea to talk to your teen about appropriate cell phone behaviour, keeping cell phones out of the bedroom might be a good way to mitigate these dangers as well.
- Cell phones are a big distraction. The teenage years are very important academically, especially when grades count toward university admissions and scholarships. It’s important that teens focus on their academics, learn to develop good study habits and complete their homework and assignments on time. When there are distractions, like cell phones, it can be very difficult to get anything done, even for adults. Academics might fall to the wayside while teens get carried away using their phones to talk to friends and participate on social media. Ensuring that cell phones are left out of the bedroom and used only after school work is complete can help your teen maintain their grades.
- Cell phones in the bedroom can prevent your teen from getting enough sleep. Research shows that teenagers need about 9.5 hours of sleep a night. If there’s a cell phone in the room, they could end up getting much less. A lack of sleep can have a negative impact on their health. In the long run, lack of sleep might be linked to high cholesterol, obesity and depression. Short-term impacts can include irritability, an inability to focus, exhaustion and even increased incidences of colds and flu. Keeping phones out of their bedroom can keep them healthy.
- Cell phones in the bedroom can impact their quality of sleep. Even if your teen does get to sleep, gadgets with LED screens, including cell phones, emit rays that can impact the quality of sleep. That’s because they give off blue light, which studies show can inhibit the production of melatonin, which is needed for a proper sleep. Experts recommend shutting off all electronics two hours before bedtime.
- Cell phones in the bedroom can detract from family time. Family dinners, game night and even watching a movie together as a family could end up being a thing of the past if a teen is allowed to isolate themselves in their bedroom with their phone. It’s important that families have time to interact, spend time together and bond. Keeping the channels of communication open is especially important during the teenage years when teens tend to want to spend less time with their parents. Remember, even teens still need boundaries, and enforcing a no-phone-in-the-bedroom rule can be a good way to set limits while also increasing quality family time.