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Should Parents Introduce Rules on the Use of Phones at Night?


Parents will so often face that dilemma on whether they are being too strict or too lenient with their children.

And the use of smart phones is a typical area of conflict.

Now teachers have waded into the debate as of course they have to deal with and try to teach children (especially young teens) who are too tired to concentrate in the classroom the next morning.

One teacher shares her concerns

She says:

"I teach middle school, and we have many, many students who are falling asleep in class all day because they take their phones to bed and stay up on them, sometimes all night." 

"The kids admit it and even brag they were texting each other at 3:30 a.m. When I ask parents about this, they say they tell the children they can’t use the phones and their kids promise to go to sleep, but parents won’t confiscate the devices. They say they don’t want to make the kids mad. When I ask who pays for the service, they look confused."

She goes on to plead:

"Parents, please, please understand that if you let middle schoolers take their phones to bed with them, no matter what they promise you, they won’t go to sleep!  It’s such a huge temptation. Help them resist by taking that phone and locking it away if you have to. Our children desperately need sleep to grow and learn!"

If you or your children experience difficulty in getting off to sleep, massage one or two drops of our Sleep Aid Formula on the temples and the back of neck thirty minutes before bedtime.  The product can be reapplied during the night if necessary.  

The ingredients in the Formula are soothing, helping to relax you or your child.  It's a perfect way to enjoy a good night's rest safely and naturally. The product may be used from age 4 and up.

How to help parents help their children

  • Have the conversation with your children first.  You are concerned about their health and wellbeing and that, as phones are just too much of a temptation at night, you are going to introduce some new rules.  You won't be popular and they will be moaning about you to their friends through social media.  If you are fortunate and their parents start to hear about what you have decided, those parent might even start to support you and introduce their own rules.
  • Understand that electronic devices should not be part of a bedtime routine — not only is blue light problematic, but teens are especially susceptible to the allure of social media as well as the anxiety and even ADHD-like symptoms that social media and doom scrolling can cause.
  • Establish a curfew for the device to checked in with you. Ideally this will be at least one hour before lights are out. Our devices should go to bed long before we do.  Down time before sleep time is huge!  Make sure to agree on a time when phones are handed in for the night - and stick to it.
  • Be sure to also establish a curfew on the device itself through parental controls.  For example, on an iPhone - Settings > Downtime > Toggle on > Enter down time.
  • Or parents can just switch the modem off when they go to bed.  Parents can then set a good example but not going on their phones either!
  • Don't fall for the excuse that they need their phone to wake up in the morning!  Introduce them to the old fashioned alarm clock to wake them up.  They are bound to be intrigued!

We all know that children thrive with healthy boundaries - and it is the parents' duty to establish and enforce these boundaries. 

All the experts (whether they are pediatricians, internet safety gurus, child psychologists and many more) agree that phones DON'T belong in the bedroom at night.

Do your children get enough sleep?

Young children need ten to twelve hours of sleep every night and of course lack of sleep will affect their performance at school, their behavior and generally make them feel exhausted and grumpy. Insufficient sleep also weakens the immune system, making your child more likely to get sick. 

When it comes to the teen years, trusting and engaging them in the solution process will help them feel like part of the process in addressing their sleep.

According to the CDC, the average teen needs between eight and ten hours sleep every night.  They are going through puberty and rapidly growing, which is stressful on the body.  This is also a time of intense neurological development. Their brains are improving their capacity for complex logical thinking, developing the ability to experience more than one emotion at the the same time while they are also becoming more independent, distancing themselves from their families.

In addition, teens often have grueling schedules (school schedules, athletic and extra-curricular commitments as well as socializing).





How Much Sleep Do Teenagers Need Each Night? | Sleep.com