Punish your child painfully by taking away their devices, so that they learn.

Jessie Liew SP
4 min readMay 29, 2023

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Today, I am going to debunk a myth that you should punish your child and let them learn the lesson painfully by taking away their screen / electronic devices.

In this digital era, it seems we can’t separate our children from electronic devices and the Internet.

They are using the screen / Internet to do their school work, to study, to communicate and socialize with their friends, and for entertainment.

A study by Common Sense Media found that 72% of teens feel the need to respond to notifications immediately, and 59% of parents say their teens are addicted to their mobile devices.

These are some of the challenges parents face today in this digital era.

One of the mistakes parents made in their child’s screen time is they punish their child by taking away their electronic devices or removing the screen time amount.

This is done from a belief that their children will learn from this punishment.

This is also done from the place to correct their child’s behavior.

When you nag and nag and they refuse to put away their devices, you started to take away their devices.

Well, your child is addicted to these electronic devices. So it is natural that you wanted to take away the devices.

You want to correct their behavior. You want them to learn from this.

But wait…

In the tension of yourself and your child and suddenly you came into their space and grab away their devices.

OK. Now, let’s ponder upon your child’s responses.

Depending on your child’s personality, there would be different responses

  1. Fight back

If your child is a more aggressive person, he/she would fight back.

2. Follow through but with resentment or anxiety

If your child is a more submissive person, he/she would follow through with resentment or anxiety.

3. Ignore you.

If your child could not be bothered, he/she would ignore you.

Let’s dive into these more in-depth.

When you punish your child by taking away their electronic devices or removing their screen time privileges, what did your child learn?

Well, they don’t learn to not be addicted to their screen.

They learned to be hiding things from you, “don’t tell you anything”, and become more sneaky.

Your child then forms a belief “If I get more punishment, I should try to hide and not allow you to find out!”.

We, as parents, have this belief “If X, then Y”.

If “punishment”, then “desired behavior”

If I remove the screen/electronic devices, they won’t be addicted.

What if I tell you this belief is flawed?

What did your child learn from this punishment?

They learn to be more sneaky and hide things from you

Not that punishment doesn’t work, it creates a disconnect between you and your child.

Of course, your child would prefer to stare at their electronic devices and not spend time with you.

The key is you need to guide them on how to use these apps/technologies. You need to empower your child to use the screen/Internet responsibly and wisely.

I have a webinar where I share 20 painful mistakes that Parents Regret Making In Their Child’s Screen Time and How to Avoid Them.

Here are the 20 mistakes.

Today, we cover

Mistake #7: The primary focus is to correct their behavior

You have this belief “If X, then Y”.

If you are thinking to focus on correcting your child’s behavior by using punishment, you could be wrong!

To learn more, come to my webinar by registering at Free Webinar “20 Painful Mistakes That Parents Regret Making In Their Child’s Screen Time”.

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Jessie Liew is the founder of Digital Parenting Coaching and a mother of 4. Her previous career included working as a cybersecurity specialist, where she protected clients from the harmful effects caused by online hackers and predators. In her spare time, Jessie enjoys reading, playing games, and adventures.

If you would like to learn more about Jessie and her work, please visit her website at https://www.neverfightwithyourkids.com/.

You can also find her on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn as Jessie Liew SP.

P.S. Let’s stay connected!

1. Join our Digital Parenting — Reducing Screen Time Facebook Group to get FREE tips and direct access to us.

2. Want to connect with me on social media?

Tune in to my Social Media profile!

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3. Watch my Free Webinar “20 Painful Mistakes That Parents Regret Making In Their Child’s Screen Time”.

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Jessie Liew SP

I help parents to empower their children to use the screen/Internet responsibly and stay safe online. Join my free FB group http://bit.ly/FBGRPDPC