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Parents Should Stop Texting Their Children at School, Experts Say

Photo from Laura Chouette via Unsplash

Parents Should Stop Texting Their Children at School, Experts Say

By Movieguide® Contributor

In this digital age, it’s no secret that cell phones are an unwanted distraction in classrooms. While many parents would agree that students must put down their smartphones during learning hours, moms and dads often text their kids with quick questions throughout the day.

The buzzing notification sound is disruptive and opens the door to kids and teens wandering to social media after checking the message. Teachers and professionals are weighing in on how parents can help their children stay focused—by no longer texting them while they’re at school.

“We call it the digital umbilical cord. Parents can’t let go. And they need to,” Virginia high school teacher Joe Clement said.

Many parents became comfortable with staying in contact with their children during Covid-19. With the pandemic behind us, experts suggest they stop texting their kids at school and send a message through the front office if there is a family emergency.

“If you came to school and said, ‘Can you pull my child out of calculus so I can tell them something not important?’ we would say no,” Central Virginia school counselor Erin Rettig said.

Another step parents can take is to not respond if their child texts them during school hours.

“When your children are texting you stuff that can wait — like, ‘Can I go to Brett’s house five days from now?’ — don’t respond,” said Sabine Polak, one of three mothers who co-founded the Phone-Free Schools Movement. “You have to stop engaging. That’s just feeding the problem.”

Professionals say that kids rely too much on mom and dad when they need to develop independence.

“By texting back and forth with a parent, a child is unable to practice either self-calming or problem-solving skills,” Dr. Libby Milkovich, a developmental and behavioral pediatrician at Children’s Mercy Kansas, said. “It’s easy to text, but if I don’t have a phone, I have to go ask the teacher or I have to figure it out on my own.”

Despite schools often having rules against cell phones in the classroom, many students continue to peek at social media, stream content or answer text messages throughout the day. It’s become such a common issue that many states are pressing to ban smartphones from school altogether.

“Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, a Republican, urged all school districts and the state Board of Education to remove cell phones from classrooms. He cited studies that show learning improves, distractions are decreased and students are more likely to talk to each other if phones are taken away,” according to the Alternative Press.

“We just need a space for six or seven hours a day where kids are not tethered to these devices,” Cox said. The non-binding initiative is part of a legislative push to protect Utah children from potential social media harm.

Other states have introduced “phone-free schools” legislation including Florida, OklahomaVermont and Kansas. 

Movieguide® previously reported on the dangers of teenagers and social media use:

Teenagers who spend more time on social media have increased depression, according to recent studies. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study placing suicide as the second leading cause of death amongst individuals aged 10-34.

Social media is not the direct cause but rather the correlation between the spike in depression and its use. The basic human to human interaction has been lost on many levels through social media.

Cyberbullying effects 60% of all students. This leads to one in four girls self-harming, and one in ten boys doing the same.

Bergen Facebook Scale (BFAS) is a scale developed by scientists to measure addiction in people who use Facebook. The sole purpose of the scale was to see the increase of addiction to Facebook over time. The results concluded that Social media is more addictive than cigarettes according to an additional study done by the University of Chicago.

Now more than ever, parents should take steps to curb their children’s reliance on cell phones. An important first step is to no longer text them during school hours, allowing teachers to do their jobs undistracted.

Now more than ever we’re bombarded by darkness in media, movies, and TV. Movieguide® has fought back for almost 40 years, working within Hollywood to propel uplifting and positive content. We’re proud to say we’ve collaborated with some of the top industry players to influence and redeem entertainment for Jesus. Still, the most influential person in Hollywood is you. The viewer.

What you listen to, watch, and read has power. Movieguide® wants to give you the resources to empower the good and the beautiful. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support.

You can make a difference with as little as $7. It takes only a moment. If you can, consider supporting our ministry with a monthly gift. Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.


Now more than ever we’re bombarded by darkness in media, movies, and TV. Movieguide® has fought back for almost 40 years, working within Hollywood to propel uplifting and positive content. We’re proud to say we’ve collaborated with some of the top industry players to influence and redeem entertainment for Jesus. Still, the most influential person in Hollywood is you. The viewer.

What you listen to, watch, and read has power. Movieguide® wants to give you the resources to empower the good and the beautiful. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support.

You can make a difference with as little as $7. It takes only a moment. If you can, consider supporting our ministry with a monthly gift. Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.


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