Home » Blogs » Mental Health Humor » Parents Enforce No Cell Phone Day – Look What Happened

Parents Enforce No Cell Phone Day – Look What Happened

I have come to appreciate silence.  But being a father of four teenagers, it is one luxury the wife and I don’t get all that often.  Even when you think it would be silent, there is always one of the kids, at some point during the day, on some device.

Mental Health Humor cartoons by Chato Stewart
Mental Health Humor cartoons by Chato Stewart

Caption: Results of bad timing:
Frosty Singing: Wait, You’ll see the children laugh and play the same as you and me.
Snow Child: Please, NEVER Put that Hat on again…
Caption: Parents Enforce No Cell Phone Day.

Even today, at six in the morning, I could hear my cell alarm going off.  Then over the next hour, five or six other digital things are ringing, buzzing, charming…even the cat was meowing simultaneously!  Yet not a teen was stirring or waking. They all just sleep right through it.  They are digitally numbed.

Investigators discovered that on average, teens who spent more time in front of screen devices — playing computer games, using social media, texting, and video chatting — were less happy  ~ Screen Time Tied to Teen Unhappiness

My kids have had some very nice friends give them their old phones.  (We attempted to stall and delay their device attachments; within reason…till they got older/responsible for the privilege.)  While at first, I thought this would be great since they could just use the old phones on WIFI.  Turns out, they figured out how to use them everywhere!… like turning on Mom’s cell Hotstop when she did not know.  Or just getting the PW from all their friend’s WIFI.

Limiting usage, we are trying.  We have tried a digital-free night.  OMG, that was HARD…for Mom and me!


Need some Positive Reinforcement power tools?  I love Psych Central blogger and clinical psychologist Nadene van der Linden’s Positive Reinforcement Tips.  They work, I know, I’ve used my own more advanced teen version. (Though, my positive reinforcements seem to be positive threats to take away their digital devices.)

Below are examples from her article “This One Parenting Tip Creates The Most Change.” 

The thought of trying them out on my teens seem very amusing. 

You want your children to get along better

“Wow you have played so nicely for the last 10 minutes.”
“I noticed you shared your hair ties with your sister when she couldn’t find any this morning for school. That was very kind.

Chato says:  This one is a gem, more like a diamond.  Of course, I’ve encouraged my kids or reinforced “get along.”  Just today I tapped into this gem… the success rate seems lower as the teen gets older.  I think it was me, saying every ten minutes they were sitting nicely…pushed the wrong teen buttons. Use this tip sparingly with teens, unless you want to annoy them like every ten minutes.

Remember to use a happy, excited tone when you notice behavior you like.

Chato says, Okay Nadene. This tip doesn’t work with my older teens.  They think I’m talking to the cat.  Or it sounds more like a question…Like, “You did good?” not “You did well!”

Best “non-verbal communication” tip
• Smiling

Chato says:  You can’t go too wrong with smiling even when you’re doing something wrong like swiping a few cookies out the cookie Jar.  Keep Calm and Just Smile.  🙂

Dig Deeper:

This One Parenting Tip Creates The Most Change

Dr. Rick Nauert PhD Reviews

“A new study suggests teens whose eyes are habitually glued to their smartphones are markedly unhappier”

More Than Hour a Day of Screen Time Tied to Teen Unhappiness

The Mental Health Humor Cartoon below takes us back to 2012 the good ol’ days of the social butterfly.  Today social media is more like “social feed-ia.”  Without Warning Audreys Social Life was Over- by Chato Stewart


Stewart, C. (2018). Mental Health Humor Blog Psych Central. Retrieved on January 24, 2018, from
van der Linden MAppPsych, N. (2018). This One Parenting Tip Creates The Most Change. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 24, 2018, from
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). More Than Hour a Day of Screen Time Tied to Teen Unhappiness. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 23, 2018, from

Parents Enforce No Cell Phone Day – Look What Happened

Chato Stewart

Chato Stewart has a mission, to draw and use humor as a positive tool to live, to cope with the debilitating effects symptoms of mental illness. Chato Stewart is a Mental Health Hero and Advocate. Recovery Peer Specialist board-certified in Florida. Chato is the artist behind the cartoons series Mental Health Humor, Over-Medicated, and The Family Stew - seen here in his blog posts. The cartoons are drawn from his personal experience of living with bipolar disorder (and other labels). [email protected]

No comments yet... View Comments / Leave a Comment



APA Reference
Stewart, C. (2018). Parents Enforce No Cell Phone Day – Look What Happened. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 23, 2019, from


Last updated: 23 Jan 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 23 Jan 2018
Published on All rights reserved.