GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Lifestyle

October 14, 2013

Firm limits on cellphone use should curb girl's compulsion

Dear Abby: I am upset with myself for getting my granddaughter the cellphone she begged me for. I wish the phone companies would put restrictions on them. I wondered why she was feeling tired in the mornings until I caught her on the phone at 4 a.m. She can’t get dressed in the morning because she’s texting every two minutes.

When her friend, who she was always very active with, came over, the girl wound up watching a movie with me because my granddaughter would not stop texting in her bedroom. She wasn’t like this until she got this new boyfriend, and he must have no life at all. Should I talk to his parents? It is consuming her life, morning, noon and night. I have told her she can’t have the phone until her homework is done.

Frustrated Grandma In North Carolina

Dear Grandma: You shouldn’t expect the phone company to decide what is acceptable in your home. As the adult in your household, it’s up to you to assert control. If your granddaughter lives with you, by all means talk to the boyfriend’s parents about this.

But equally important, enforce cellphone limits. If you think she can’t be trusted not to use it after lights-out, see that she gives you her phone at bedtime. In the morning, return it to her once she’s dressed and ready for school. And when she invites friends over, make sure she understands it is HER responsibility — not yours — to entertain them, because what she did was rude.

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Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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