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No no, a Byzantine punishment would be to get her daughter an early Linux smartphone running a stripped down distribution of X-Windows and a primordial version of Netscape Navigator, without emacs or vi, so she has to look up her phone numbers using grep in xterm.

Actually laughed out loud for this one, thanks! :)

I took very much the opposite impression from the article - rather than allowing a lot of little grievances to fester into a big familial rift, the author did something that's kind of dramatic from a teenager's perspective but also essentially benign. The daughter faced some consequences for being a slob, but she learned something useful in the process and actually had some fun with her punishment. It seems like their bond was ultimately strengthened by this little charade. If that's the behaviour of a "terrible parent" then I can't imagine what you consider to be good parenting.

Suspend disbelief, and don't be so hard on them. They may be exaggerating for comedic effect (the tone of the article is not exactly serious), or not wanting to bother the reader with actual details from their personal life.

Ha. I was judging her for being too lax for letting her daughter have a smart phone at all.

Yeah indeed, I've told my daughter that age 12 is the youngest we will consider getting her a phone, and even then it is contingent on convincing me she is responsible enough for it.

Honestly, I worry most about the harmful social aspects and part of me wishes the damn things didn't exist. Even for myself ...

Separating child from phone addiction is Byzantine?

The Byzantines were known to take their children's phones away. Monsters, the lot of them.

I remember reading Steve Jobs was doing that to his kids. But hey, it’s the golden rule of the trade, don’t get high on your own product.

I read that Steve Ballmer was much more cruel. He forced his kids to use Windows phones.

A week long punishment is pointless. A child's perception of time means a ten minute punishment is as effective (probably more effective) than a week long punishment.

When they’re small, maybe. But once they’re at an age where the device represents a portal to social engagement, I find a complete weekend-and-next social cycle basically approaches infinity in their eyes. A week is usually sufficient, but there’s been times where two is necessary. However, each of my kids differ with effectiveness of different punishment types.

No, even when they're 15.

That shirt ten minute time out tells them that their behaviour is wrong and needs to be fixed. It's tied to the actual behaviour that needs to be fixed. It prevents an argument spanning a week.

It's punishment for a 12 year old not a 2 year old...

My advice holds for anyone up to the age of about 18.

Have you had kids over the age of 2? Because your advice doesn’t hold for anyone over that age.

I don't think it is that simple depending on the age.

I'm willing to bet a 10 year old wouldn't think much of 10 minutes without a phone.

I didn't see it that way at all. Also, the article is supposed to be funny.

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