Should We Let Teens Text Their Friends to Tell Them When They’re Grounded?

There’s no denying that cell phones are great for keeping in touch with people in our lives. But the unavoidable fact is that they can also make a few things more complicated in life, especially for parents. There are concerns regarding mental health, tech addiction, and also the ethical question of monitoring a kid’s phone use. Recently, a parent raised a question on social media, as to whether or not grounded kids should be allowed to text or call their friends to let them know. Most of the parents have suggested that this should be allowed. Here are the reasons:

The Other Kids

According to some parents, the parents should also think about those other kids their children are friends with. It’s harsh to have a best friend one day and then be ghosted the next day out of the blue! Friendship is an essential part of life, especially in childhood. So, the sudden absence of a friend can be confusing for the other kids. It can also mentally harm them, even the grounded ones.

The Mental Pressure

Being grounded is a punishment, and like any punishment, it also emotionally weighs down a kid. The added fear of not being able to communicate with their friends to at least let them know about the situation can only contribute to further frustration. On the other hand, the friends who are being ghosted might spend a week thinking that their best friends actually hated them. Such misunderstanding often leads to anxiety, especially for a child. Having a regular friend or family member disappear without a clue brings enough tension and anxiety in adults. When you throw some teenage hormones into it, the situation gets more intense and problematic.

The Monitored Restriction

The solution for all these lies in balanced parental monitoring. In the old days, when there were landlines in households, parents themselves could receive a call and let their kids’ friends know that they were being grounded for some reason. But nowadays, almost all kids possess personal cell phones and parents would only invade their personal space unethically if they try to use them. So, they should allow their kids to inform their friends about the situation. One mom shared that she allows her grounded child to use his cell phone for five minutes during the daytime and evening each day to let him reply to texts. Allowing such restricted tech use is way more helpful than an outright inconsiderate punishment.