The go-to disciplinary tool for parents of Gen Z teens is a simple one: "Hand in your phone."
And no wonder. Mobile phones are a major source of entertainment and distraction. They're the thing that connects them to their peers, but also to potentially negative influences like pornography, online bullying and predators.
For parents seeking to punish or protect, snatching it away seems like the obvious move. But according to psychologist Jo Lamble and GP Dr Ginni Mansberg, it's not quite the "panacea" it seems.
The pair, who have recently co-authored a teen-raising guidebook called The New Teen Age, argue there are far more effective ways of getting a lesson into a crowded adolescent head.
Watch: Parents of teenagers, translated.
The problem with confiscating a teen's phone.
Speaking to Mamamia's No Filter podcast, Dr Mansberg said while parents see confiscating a phone as a simple loss of privilege or means of protection, it's "cutting them off from their entire world. And it is certainly not the answer".
Indeed, 2018 research by Joanne Orlando of Western Sydney University found that using technology as a means of behavioural control may impact the trust you build with your child and how they use technology.
In fact, rather than use the time their phone was taken away to consider what they'd done wrong, teens tended to withdraw from their parents.
"In response to her phone being confiscated, for example, one 15-year-old girl expressed what many teenagers told me," Orlando wrote via The Conversation. "[The girl said] 'I don't tell my parents much now about what happens to me because I don't want my phone taken off me.'"
Open communication between parents and children is critical to reducing risky online behaviours. It's also far more effective at helping teens to understand and improve on the behaviour of concern.