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How to Take Away a Teenage Daughter's Phone and Computer for Punishment

By Jill Kokemuller ; Updated June 13, 2017

It can be difficult to come up with a suitable punishment for your teenager. You want your daughter to learn that there are consequences to inappropriate behavior and breaking rules, so you have to do something that she will feel. In these times when it seems that teenagers are permanently attached to their cell phones and computers, depriving them of these outlets is an obvious choice. However, you don't want to make the punishment so bad that your teen feels like she has nothing left to lose, or what was intended to be a corrective measure will backfire.

  1. Keep the punishment short. Take away the phone for two days or a week so your daughter knows there is an end in sight and doesn't feel desperate, causing her to break more rules to keep in contact with her friends. A long-term punishment can also cause your teen to forget what the original infraction was.

  2. Go over the terms of the punishment and the reasons she is being punished. Make sure your daughter knows exactly what the consequences are for, and consider making the restrictions dependent upon correcting the behavior. Instead of saying you are taking her phone for a week, tell her she has a week to think about what she did and demonstrate good behavior in order to reclaim her phone privileges.

  3. Don't take away everything at once. According to Carl E. Pickhardt, Ph.D., if you completely cut off social contact you can do more harm than good. If you take your teen's phone and computer access, don't ground her at the same time. Peer acceptance and socialization is extremely important in the teenage years.

  4. Consider limiting access rather than completely restricting your daughter from her phone and computer. A phone is an effective safety measure, and computers are useful for schoolwork. Contact your cell phone provider and restrict the numbers that can be called from your daughter's phone, or eliminate texting capabilities for the month. Restrict access to social media by having your daughter log in and then changing her password so she can't access the account until the punishment is ended.

  5. Tip

    Think about friending or following your daughter on her social media sites so you can monitor what she is posting and be a more active part of her social life.

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