Sense & Sensitivity

Teenage Daughter Won't Get Off Phone

DEAR HARRIETTE: My teenage daughter walks around with her cellphone attached to her ear like it is an appendage. I feel like everything she does takes twice the time it should because she is constantly talking to her best friend while she’s fulfilling a task. I like and appreciate that she has a friend who seems to be nice, but she is taking this too far. How can I regulate her telephone time without becoming the mean mom? I want to teach my daughter good habits. -- Too Much Phone Time, Milwaukee

DEAR TOO MUCH PHONE TIME: Make it clear to your daughter that she cannot be on the phone when she is completing her chores. That could be managed by you having a phone basket. She can be required to put her phone in the basket until chores are checked off and reviewed by you. Having a method that allows her a bit of independence -- the basket rather than giving the phone to you -- gives space for her to become responsible without feeling overly pressured. If this does not work, she could lose phone privileges. Talk to your daughter about timing and duty. Encourage her to fulfill her duties before engaging in fun.

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