How much do you love your mobile phone? Could you live without it? Find out what British teenagers, parents and teachers say about the subject!


How old were you when you got a mobile? Everybody knows that teenagers love their phones. Here are some mobile phone facts.

  •  Two-thirds of 12-15-year-olds in the UK have a smartphone.
  •  People in the UK send 50 text messages a week on average.
  •  British 12-15-year-olds send an average of 200 messages a week.
  •  British girls aged between 12 and 15 text more than boys of the same age group. Girls send 221 messages a week!


Parents want their kids to be safe. Are teenagers safer with a mobile phone or without? Many parents want their children to have a phone so that they can be in contact at any time or in any place. On the other hand, for lots of parents a phone is a source of possible danger. Parents worry that their child may meet the wrong kind of ‘friends’ on social networking sites or that they might receive cruel messages from school bullies. Some parents have rules about their children’s mobile phone and internet usage and bad behaviour can result in removal of mobile privileges. 

The great thing about my kids having mobile phones is that I can keep in touch with them. The worst thing about teenagers having phones is that some young people use them to send offensive messages to each other.
William, from Coventry. William is a parent of two teenagers.

A teenager feels lost without a phone. If my daughters behave badly, I confiscate their phones and their behaviour quickly improves.
Kiera, mother of 15-year-old twins.


Mobile phones are permitted at school in the UK but pupils are not allowed to use them in class and they must be on silent during lessons. Teachers can take away phones if these rules are broken. School students can use their phones at break time and at lunchtime. Some teachers in British schools complain that pupils don’t always follow the rules and that lessons are disrupted by people texting, making and receiving calls, looking at social networking sites, watching videos and even making videos in the class.

My mum is scared that I’m going to lose my phone or that someone is going to steal it. She won’t buy me the really cool phone that I want. I’ve got this rubbish one that doesn’t do much. I suppose that makes sense but it’s not fair that everyone else has a smartphone and I don’t.
Tam, 14, from Wrexham.

I know that some people want mobiles to be banned at school but as a language teacher I find that phones can be pretty useful in class ... for educational purposes of course. For example, the students write a dialogue in French, they record it on a phone, then they listen to the recording and try to correct any mistakes or improve pronunciation. They love it!
Stan, from Chester. Stan is a French teacher.


A mobile phone contract in the UK usually comes with a number of text messages included in the price. Of course lots of people send messages completely free of charge using an app that’s also free to download. If you want to send text messages in English you need to know some abbreviations. Here are some to get you started:

LOL = laugh out loud
POS = parent over shoulder
BRB = be right back
TYVM = thank you very much
BCNU = be seeing you (meaning ‘goodbye’)
ASAP = as soon as possible
OIC = oh I see (means ‘I understand’)
TTFN = Ta ta for now (means ‘goodbye')
BFFL= best friends for life

TYVM 4 reading this article. BCNU!

Total votes: 1464
Language level: 


Some parents confiscate their teenager's phone as a punishment for poor behaviour. Is that a good idea? What's your opinion?


LinnE's picture
LinnE 20 October, 2014 - 13:50

I think it’s a good idea. It’s a good because if the person have done something wrong it maybe teaches the person not to do it again.

77 users have voted.
alfsti's picture
alfsti 20 October, 2014 - 13:46

I think it´s a good idea because then the children don´t use the phones very much anymore. And when they are getting their phones back, I think that the parents have to make a rule that their children have a limited time with the phones every week or every day.

83 users have voted.
SamuelN's picture
SamuelN 20 October, 2014 - 13:45

I think that it's both good and bad to take you childs phone. Its good because the child can think about something else like homework. I also think that's it bad because the child doesn't really learn anything from it.

93 users have voted.
elvpau's picture
elvpau 20 October, 2014 - 13:45

I don't think it's a good idea. If you take your children's phones, you won't be able to contact them. And I really don't think that's a good way to make the learn a lesson.

82 users have voted.
jonsjo02's picture
jonsjo02 20 October, 2014 - 13:40

I think it's a bad idea because it feels like if you take away their phones they will only behave bad because they can't chat with their friends and they will probably become sad and i don't think parents really would do so well without phones because they often play games and also chat with their friends and family.

84 users have voted.
adeleB's picture
adeleB 18 October, 2014 - 21:03

I think it's a good idea. For a teenager mobile phone is everything. I know that because I'm a teenager and I can't live without mine.

103 users have voted.
Rei's picture
Rei 22 January, 2014 - 16:09


98 users have voted.
alenyg02's picture
alenyg02 14 January, 2014 - 11:19

I don't think that confiscating your child's phone just because he/she did something stupid is a good idea. Instead of taking the phone, parents should teach their child how to use it properly. There are lots more punishments that are alot better. An example would be, clean the house (can be anything to clean) or make them have limited access to the phone. Instead of watching it 5 hours a day let them have it 1. If you just take it for lets say, a week. After that week has past, and they get the phone back everything will turn to normal again and the teenager haven't really learnt anything.

122 users have voted.
johannawennerlof's picture
johannawennerlof 9 January, 2014 - 12:21

I think it´s a really good thing to do when your teenager is exasperating beacuse after a long time know they what´s happens if they are exasperating and that will make them stop.

101 users have voted.
chluclarch123's picture
chluclarch123 9 January, 2014 - 12:19

I think that it is a good idea to take I think that it is a good idea to take their phones from them as a punishment. because they do not like that and they will be more careful an behave good their phones from them as a punishment.

124 users have voted.
Raywan's picture
Raywan 9 January, 2014 - 12:16

For some reason this question doesn't have a clear answer and it really depends of your personality, intrests or behavior.
Some people have a smartphone but they ar not obsessed with it and confisticating it as a punishment doesn't make sense, nothing happens, it probably will make everything worse.
But those who are haunted with their phones and have a poor behavior, removing a phone is a quite good idea.
My parents taught me that every mistake or bad behavior gives you a lesson, you always are going to learn something useful, if you don't have any punishment perhaps it will be harder to remember or correct your mistakes.

103 users have voted.
chluclarch123's picture
chluclarch123 9 January, 2014 - 12:14

I think that teenagers need a phone so that they can call people when they are in trouble.
But a phone can be trouble too if not used carefully.

105 users have voted.
marott02's picture
marott02 9 January, 2014 - 12:03

I think that parents that takes their childrens phone is doing right and wrong. It totally depends on the childrens interest, for example if a children like their computer more than their phone it´s better to forbid they to play computer games instead of taking their phone, they wouldn't care if their phone was taken away if they still could play computer. But if a children uses their phone very much they might care alot more at once so they wouldn't lose it again.

95 users have voted.
Albjon's picture
Albjon 9 January, 2014 - 12:00

I don't think confiscating a teenagers mobile will solve the problem. Maybe it will solve the problem for the moment but when the teenagers receive their mobilephone again they will probably start with the bad behaviour. So i think it's a bad idea. You can solve it much easier if you make a very serious conversation with your teenager about what will happen in the future, and maybe after that they will understand.

72 users have voted.
majper03's picture
majper03 9 January, 2014 - 11:58

I don't think thats the smoothest way to solve the problem. I mean if you take their phones, but they can still go out and hang out with their friends, you're not going to be able to contact them.
And wasn't that the main purpose of buying the children phones in the first place?

62 users have voted.
emilev's picture
emilev 9 January, 2014 - 11:54

When some people behave bad, they often feel sad after. Maybe they have friends far away that means a lot for them and if they don't have a phone that they can't contact them with they can become depressed.
Without a phone, when you are used to it, you're going to feel very lost. You can't call anyone either if something happening.
That's why I think parents shouldn't confiscate their teenagers phones.

69 users have voted.
emikar's picture
emikar 9 January, 2014 - 11:52

I think it´s both a good and a bad ìdea. It can be good sometimes, so they know that they did wrong. But the problem isn't solved and you can't take it away for ever. Because they need ther mobile sooner or later, to make a call or something else.

69 users have voted.
JoelCH's picture
JoelCH 9 January, 2014 - 11:49

Well I think that parents that take their children´s mobile phone does wrong. I think like that because it's not a good enough punishment. Instead of taking their phone they could've do something else that would be better. But the punishment does often has to do with the childs interests. Because if it is a football nerd that lost his phone it wouldn't matter, but if he lost his ball he would cry to get it back.

64 users have voted.
amagu's picture
amagu 9 January, 2014 - 11:45

I don't really know if it is a good or bad idea. Both, I guess. It depends on what kind of teenager it is. Som teenagers don't care about their phone at all, and some teenagers absolutely love their phone. My opinion is that it is kind of rude to take away a teenager's phone, if you think about all the other things you could take away, but it can be a really effective way to get the teenager to behave better.

67 users have voted.
ellkar's picture
ellkar 9 January, 2014 - 11:44

I think it is difficult to say whether it is good or bad for parents to take their teenagers phones as a punsihment just because it´s different in every family. In some cases they learn a lesson by it, but it certainly doesn´t solve the problem and I think most teenagers would get really annoyed instead.

66 users have voted.
edvjak's picture
edvjak 9 January, 2014 - 11:40

I think that it is a really bad idea as it never really improves behaviour in the long run. After a month or so will the punishment become forgotten and things are just back as it used to be. There are several more constructive punishments like having to wash clothes, clean the house etc. that works far better for both parts.

66 users have voted.
Matsau's picture
Matsau 9 January, 2014 - 11:40

I think it can be good but maybe bad too. The good thing is that the person probably will start to behave to get their phone back. But I think parents should punish their child in some other way.

70 users have voted.