Reply To: I'm overwhelmed

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Hang in there seems less than sufficient, but HANG IN THERE! You’re not alone! Phones, social media, unlimited access to the internet … it’s a whole new world. I also gave my son a phone thinking he was a good kid so I didn’t restrict it. And he is a good kid. I picked up his phone one day to look up a recipe because mine wasn’t handy and I pulled up his browser, and BAM – my world came crashing down.

There are programs you can put on the phone to monitor everything, even those hidden accounts. After we had a talk about accessing inappropriate content with my son and that behavior continued, we put one of those monitoring apps on his phone. He has slowly earned more freedom with his phone. But if grades slip, or behavior slips – the phone goes away. The phone is also not allowed in his room at night. Once it’s bedtime, the phone is in the kitchen or with me. The monitoring programs where also helpful because he could keep his phone to call me but I could block access to the internet and all apps. Since I work that made me feel more confident that he could still call me if he needed me while I was at work.

You’re not a failure. You’re working your tail off, and it’s not easy raising a teenager. No teenager is perfect. Any Mom who thinks their teenager is a perfect saint is kidding themselves. Keep at it.