How To Help A Child Who Is Addicted To Snapchat

How To Help A Child Who Is Addicted To Snapchat

Our daughter Lulu became addicted to social media, Instagram and Snapchat were here drugs of choice. She measured by her friendships by their Snapchat Streak score. This is Snapchat’s way of keeping these teenagers on their app.  Lulu became truly distressed if she thought her streak was about to be broken due to her own inaction.

“GET OFF YOUR PHONE!”

Is this the catch-cry in your house? Does it work? Does your teenager immediately jump up out of their seat leaving their phone behind, getting on with whatever chore it is that you have them doing in your castle in the clouds?

Oh, I hear you loud and clear, no need for telepathy to dial into the answer to this one.

I repeated this phrase so often that for Lulu my voice blended into the background with the sound of the birds and crickets.

[bctt tweet=”Many teenagers spend so much time on social media they become completely disconnected from real life as it occurs around them.” username=””]

My fledgling teenager was constantly eyes down staring with vacant abandon at whatever device currently fitted her needs. She was distracted from school work, chores, family life. If her friends came for a sleepover they would sit together, each glued to their own device with little or no interaction.

It was a constant source of friction within the house. The remedy was in front of our faces but we couldn’t make the leap. Fearing the counterstroke.

We Took Matters Into Our Own Hands

Eventually it came to a head when one morning recently Lulu sat watching a You Tube video while refusing steadfastly to acknowledge our attempts to talk to her.

  • We rang the phone company and they obligingly switched off the data on her phone. She now has voice and text which is all she needs for now. The bonus will be no extra charge for going over her data allowance each month.
  • We then changed the password to our internet modem so that she could no longer use our Wi Fi.
  • The final piece of the puzzle was a mobile wifi which she will log into to complete her homework or watch a movie as I see fit. I am able to turn this off if she decides to do the wrong thing and watch You Tube videos in lieu of her homework.

This past weekend Lulu had a friend to stay and after explaining what the situation was  with electronics we sent them off to do what they wanted.

They did each other’s makeup and hair, ate dinner out on the balcony on a picnic rug, had a candle lit bath in their togs and cooked pancakes for breakfast. All the while chatting and taking photos that they could post later.

After her friend had returned home Lulu continued to interact with the family which after such a long hiatus was heart warming.

We couldn’t believe how easy it was to rectify the problem. We have our daughter back and although there is still a long road to haul we are grateful for this win.

It is okay to get tough, it is okay to let your teenager go without.

Lulu needed us to step up and sort it out because she couldn’t.

She was addicted.

She wasn’t mature enough or didn’t have the will power to take matters in hand for herself. We had to be the adults and do it for her. Unbelievably there was little to no push back. I think she is relieved that the problem was taken out of her hands.

Those Snapchat Streaks are broken and no one suffered.

To find out what effects too much screen time can cause your child and some rules you can put in place to help them see my post

Screen Time For Children – 5 Effects And 5 Rules

Does your teenager spend too much time on screens? What if anything have you done about it?

How to help a child who is addicted to social media

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(4) comments

MICHELE BISHAI December 15, 2017

With your inspiration, I spent my morning learning how to reprogram the router, and was happy to see parental controls are part of routers, at least mine bought within the last 4 years. You can change your password, and regulate any devices connected to always on, block right now, or regulate the time, and you can set up the app in your phone to do all of this while on the road.

Following this, I set up a separate account for her in an old Mac, and placed the websites she will need for her school homework. Any other websites need my permission for access.

If she needs Amazon prime videos, she must watch in the living room. Regarding school, they all must leave their phones in a wall hanging and can use internet only between classes and after school. Hopefully, goodbye to streaking at home on Snapchat and Instagram.

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Jane December 15, 2017

Ah Michele, I hear you. We still battle with Lulu. Netflix is in the mix now. We have it password protected and I let her watch one program at a time. We bought a new phone for her saying she would get it for Christmas only if her behaviour improved. It does not look like she will get it. On the bright side, there are signs of improvement and her grades have improved. Stick in there, I had the same with my older daughter and she has turned into a young woman we are very proud of and is a credit to herself.
For schoolwork, you could purchase a prepaid wifi that you can keep with you and turn off and on as you need. Maybe let her know she has a certain amount of time to get her work done then it goes off and maybe talk to the school. I think you will find they will be very understanding. Good luck!

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MICHELE BISHAI December 15, 2017

Cont’d. -. The problem I’m having is Verizon has to give her at least .5gigs each month. They won’t do zero. I will try and reach them again regarding this. And she can access WiFi at school too. I was going to invest in the Disney circle which allows regulation of devices and internet time, but that means one more item I must monitor. Placing a time period on it doesn’t help. She will use it for social media, then complain that her homework didn’t get done because she can’t get on the internet. Schools place all the homework on their sites now, and her work schedule is placed on a site too. I am a single mom and get home sometimes at 630. I’ve become a phone nazi. Regulating all of this is driving me crazy. I can’t be standing over her every minute she’s on the internet. I’m thinking of changing her login back to selected sites only, and allowing research for school only when I’m there to monitor it. But then behind the scenes, her brother, boyfriend and girlfriend all slip her their old phones so she can get back on social media. I’ve now removed three phones and her iPod. I will change the wifi password today. The school wifi, I don’t have any control over, or when she goes to her father’s house. I could ask him to do the same, but her brother will leak the password to her in exchange for cash. I can think of a million other things to do than regulate this stuff.

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MICHELE BISHAI December 15, 2017

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your post. Reading it was like reading my own story and the hell I’m going through in my home. I have removed my child from her sport today because she can’t keep up with her responsibilities in the household, ignores that her cat needs food and water, her room is in shambles and she is falling behind in school. She comes home, locks herself in her room and says she’s doing homework. But what should take an hour, takes 5 because the social media takes over.

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