3 Ways Kids Outsmart Their Parents When Their Phones Are Taken Away
Taking Away Cell Phone Privileges Is a Common Punishment
Well, it's finally happened. As a parent, you have decided that the most effective punishment for poor grades, bad behavior, a rotten attitude, lying, cheating, or whatever is to take away your child's cell phone. In addition to grounding, taking away your child's phone for a specified period of time is a fairly common punishment. After all, you figuratively want to hit them where it hurts.
Your kid might beg for another punishment to no avail, and he/she might proceed to sulk in his or her room for the next few days—or so you think. If you're not tech-savvy, then you may not realize that your child has found a way to get around your punishment. You see, your kids are inseparable from their phones, just like peanut butter is inseparable from jelly or, to my friends in the U.K., fish is inseparable from chips. They think that they simply cannot exist without their cellular devices.
3 Clever Ways Kids Text and Message Their Friends When They Don't Have Phones
- They put their sim card in another phone
- They use a free texting app on their iPod touch, iPad, or Android
- They communicate through instant messages via the the web
1. They Put Their Sim Card in Another Phone
Before handing over their phones, children may covertly remove their sim card and put it into an older phone from the same carrier. They either use one from your home or borrow a friend's. They may have to "suffer" and use an older model for awhile, but they can still text and talk to their heart's desire and will even have all of their contacts.
A sim card is a small, rectangular card that is usually located behind the battery. It stores phone numbers and contacts. Not all cell phone carriers use sim cards, though. Sprint and Verizon are the two main carriers that do not use this technology.
If your phone does use a sim card and you want to switch phones, then all you have to do is open the battery cover, remove the battery, pop out the sim card, and then put it in a different handset from the same carrier.
How to Check to See If the Sim Card Has Been Removed on an iPhone 5
2. They Use a Free Texting App on an iPod Touch, iPad, or Android
There are apps for almost everything these days, and free texting is no exception. After about a minute of downloading the app (if they don't already own it), they can text from their iPod touch, iPad, or Android device.
These apps also work on phones, but, remember, you took that away. When they use a free text app, their friends will see some strange phone number, but that's really the only oddity. After they get a few of their friends' phone numbers, unbeknownst to you, they can send and receive free texts without actually having their phone or sim card in their possession.
Two popular texting apps are TextNow by Enflick, Inc. and TextFree Unlimited by Pinger, Inc.
Kids May Use the TextFree App to Text on Devices Other Than Phones
3. They Communicate Through Instant Messages via the Web
There are many ways to instantly message friends. For example, in 2008, Facebook launched Facebook Chat, a real-time chat system to communicate with other Facebook friends who are online. If your child has a Facebook account, then they can message from any device with internet access. Facebook Chat even has an app, so it's easy to use on any device.
Instant messages may not be quite as mobile as texting from a cell phone, and they can only message if their friends are online at the same time as they are, but it still gives them a sense of outsmarting your punishment and helps them keep in the loop.
What's a Parent to Do?
Ultimately, your goal in doling out a punishment is to make your child change their behavior. But that will only happen if the punishment is effective, and it's not if they outsmart you. In order for the loss of cell phone privileges to work, your child must lose privileges for all electronics. But brace yourself—the punishment may be worse for you than for them!
Kids May Use Facebook Chat to Message a Friend Without a Phone
Does your child have a Facebook account?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.