3 Ways Kids Outsmart Their Parents When Their Phones Are Taken Away

Updated on September 16, 2017
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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

  1. They put their sim card in another phone
  2. They use a free texting app on their iPod touch, iPad, or Android
  3. 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?

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Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        2 weeks ago

        i wrote 'satan' on the shoes that I bought and got my phone taken. Gonna get my phone back asap lol.

      • profile image

        ....idk 2 weeks ago

        My mom took my phone away for being bi and depressed. I'm losing my friends because I don't have many classes with them and I used to be able to talk to them and go out with them. Now apparently my friends are bad or whatever.

      • profile image

        Paola 4 weeks ago

        my dad took away my phone but he is really snoopy and I don't like it and he hits me and sometimes I have red marks for a few minutes. Dad if you see this make sure you quit it because I don't like it and I'm sick and done of it.

      • profile image

        Springpaw 4 weeks ago

        I feel like my mom takes my phone away for the most smallest reasons like for forgetting to turn of a light or eating all the berries that she bought-.-

      • profile image

        Jaiden CHow 7 weeks ago

        I didn't get my phone confiscated(I don't have one), I got my MacBook Air confiscated

      • profile image

        Mystery 7 weeks ago

        my dad took away my phone and said i won't see it for a year i don't know what to do help me

      • profile image

        Rianne 2 months ago

        I got my phone taken away about 2 weeks ago just for acting up. I haven't missed anything but , I have been using the i pad and JUST got caught for ling about it. The thing is that my parents are sick of my ling but, they lie to. My mom said she doesn't know where my phone is when I asked for it. But it turns out that she was hiding it !!

      • profile image

        ... 4 months ago

        I'm 14 and my friends are sick of my parents taking away my phone, which is the only device I have that the school hasn't given to me, so one of them gave me an old iPod and my parents took that away too. Is this legal?

      • profile image

        Morgan Payne 3 years ago

        I'm 14 and I realize I'm turning a lot of kids in. Kids my age find where the phone is by calling it when the parents aren't nearby, and leaving the case in the room and taking the phone! Also, you can access every social media app from a computer. I can post on Instagram from my desktop! Sorry kids

      • Esther  Strong profile image

        Esther Strong 4 years ago from UK

        Most interesting. Well done for finding this stuff out and for sharing. Voted up and more.

      • ktrapp profile image
        Author

        Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

        Marisa - I think it's bad to call bad names, but there's nothing wrong with taking your iPad, iPod and phone away as a punishment. Those things are privileges and I'm guessing you can earn them back.

      • profile image

        marisa 5 years ago

        my parents always yell at me calls me really bad names and takes my i pad and i pod away and canceled my phone should they do that because its wrong

      • ktrapp profile image
        Author

        Kristin Trapp 6 years ago from Illinois

        Kelleyward - Thanks. I couldn't agree more; when it comes to technology kids are always one step ahead of parents, and teachers too! Since your kids are not old enough to have cell phones yet, my best advice to you, would be to not give them one until they really need it - which is usually a lot older than when their peers get one. Thanks for stopping by.

      • profile image

        kelleyward 6 years ago

        Very interesting hub. Those kids are always one step ahead of us in technology it seems. I don't have kids old enough to have a cell phone yet but this is valuable information. Thanks!

      • ktrapp profile image
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        Kristin Trapp 6 years ago from Illinois

        Kim - In a few years I'm am sure there will be even more clever ways kids outsmart parents' punishments of taking cell phones or other technology away. Unfortunately for a lot of parents, the kids usually are one step ahead :)

      • Kim Cammaro profile image

        Kim Cammaro 6 years ago from NY

        Thankfully I'm not at this age yet (mine are 6 and 8) but I never ever thought of the sim card in another phone. I will now! We have old cell phones lying around so it would be simple. Thanks!

      • ktrapp profile image
        Author

        Kristin Trapp 6 years ago from Illinois

        That's very true Lisa; a new layer of parenting is a good way to put it.

      • lisabeaman profile image

        lisabeaman 6 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

        Ktrapp... you're right about out parents not having this stuff available to take away, but they also didn't have this stuff to tax their brains and challenge their parenting skills! Technology adds a whole new layer to parenting. I think all these extra things really do cause more distractions for kids and gives them much easier access to temptations. Parents need to be aware of the dangers and make sure they communicate and talk with their kids about the technology they use. We can't afford to live in denial.

      • ktrapp profile image
        Author

        Kristin Trapp 6 years ago from Illinois

        Hi Lisa. Those kids think they're so sneaky, don't they? It usually works though.

        It just sort of occurred to me that our parents didn't have all this stuff available to take away from us for a punishment, but I don't remember kids doing as many bad things making the need for a punishment. So, do cell phones, video games, facebook, etc. lead kids to do things they shouldn't or not do things they should? HaHa - That thought could cause an uproar among certain age groups.

        I am sort of kidding, but those things definitely affect grades in an indirect way - which I bet is a very popular reason for the cell phone punishment.

        Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      • lisabeaman profile image

        lisabeaman 6 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

        Great hub! I realized a while ago that taking cell phones away was more of a hassle for me than them, so I usually try something else. But I have noticed a lot of my kids' friends on facebook saying things like, "Got my phone taken away, chat with me instead" in their status. You're right in the fact that they will not learn anything from the punishment if they find a way around it.

      • ktrapp profile image
        Author

        Kristin Trapp 6 years ago from Illinois

        It's definitely a nightmare for parents to monitor. I'm glad my kids are older now. Thanks for commenting.

      • Alladream74 profile image

        Victor Mavedzenge 6 years ago from Oakland, California

        Technology is becoming more of a nightmare than a friend.Good hub.

      • ktrapp profile image
        Author

        Kristin Trapp 6 years ago from Illinois

        Thanks RTalloni. I am outlining an additional hub right now with other sneaky things kids do that I've heard of from my kids and their friends over the years. It may just turn into a series on ways kids try to outsmart parents.

      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

        Excellent hub. Voted up. Do keep writing on this topic. Parents need all the help they can get from good, concise hubs.

      • stestifie profile image

        Stephanie Pyper 6 years ago from Sin City

        Thanks a bunch!

      • ktrapp profile image
        Author

        Kristin Trapp 6 years ago from Illinois

        I'll let you know then when I get it done.

      • stestifie profile image

        Stephanie Pyper 6 years ago from Sin City

        OOOOHHHHH! I can't wait to read it! I will need all the advice I can get. They're gonna be thinking, "Dang, how'd she know?" LOL

      • ktrapp profile image
        Author

        Kristin Trapp 6 years ago from Illinois

        stestifie - I think I may work on another hub with other ways our kids try to outsmart us, I have a lot churning in my head.

      • ktrapp profile image
        Author

        Kristin Trapp 6 years ago from Illinois

        Glad to make you laugh Marlo. Sometimes as parents, if we don't laugh then we cry. So as of today, I am going to try to regain that attitude that has escaped me for awhile!

      • stestifie profile image

        Stephanie Pyper 6 years ago from Sin City

        Nice Ktrapp, that is exactly what I was thinking-awesome! =)

      • MarloByDesign profile image

        MarloByDesign 6 years ago from United States

        "Let the games begin" - that was hilarious! :)

      • ktrapp profile image
        Author

        Kristin Trapp 6 years ago from Illinois

        "Let the games begin" stestfie!

      • stestifie profile image

        Stephanie Pyper 6 years ago from Sin City

        =P HAHA! When I was younger my step dad was always "one up" on me and I can't wait to show my kids how tech-savvy I am. Not that that's the only way to do it, but kids almost always think us parents are stupid when it comes to "new stuff" I mean, I did it. Sometimes they figured it out and sometimes they didn't but It was almost like a game. You knew sooner or later you would get caught!

      • ktrapp profile image
        Author

        Kristin Trapp 6 years ago from Illinois

        Thanks stestifie. Your comment made me laugh. It seems as if you're looking forward to the chance to "one up" them!

      • stestifie profile image

        Stephanie Pyper 6 years ago from Sin City

        This hub was really interesting and useful! I know my kids will do this, I can't wait to "one up" them! I will be sure to get the sim card too =) Thanks for this, I vote UP!

      • ktrapp profile image
        Author

        Kristin Trapp 6 years ago from Illinois

        Thanks for all your input. It seems kids, especially as they get older, are usually one step ahead of us when it comes to technology and communication. Keeping up with their "creativity" can become a real cat and mouse game. I cannot begin to fathom what parents 20 years from now will have to deal with.

      • jacqui2011 profile image

        jacqui2011 6 years ago from Norfolk, UK

        Brilliant. I have often taken away my eldest daughters phone as a punishment. The thing is that I would never have thought to check if the sim card was still in it. It makes me wonder if she has outsmarted me in the past, but I will certainly be checking in the future. Great hub and great information. Definitely deserving of a vote up and awesome. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

      • profile image

        Reena J 6 years ago

        see, today's kids are more smart; that too especially in using the electronic items..parents should be careful in what they do with their child and points stated in this hub is true..

      • MarloByDesign profile image

        MarloByDesign 6 years ago from United States

        I rated this "Useful" - interesting thoughts "Put their phone's sim card in another phone" - We have to be smarter than our kids! :)

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