DEAR GRANDDADDY- A Teen, Parent, and Educator Advice Column BLOG #51

Dear Granddaddy, why do the adults always have to give me a hard time about my phone? Iliana- student

Bestselling and award-winning author, speaker, educator, and TV host.


Well, Iliana, I can remember when I was your age and we didn’t have phones or any of the kinds of electronics that you kids have today. I think in some ways, we adults are still trying to get used to the whole new modern age, where electronics are everywhere.

I don’t know exactly what you mean by the adults giving you a hard time, but if I had to guess, I might think that your parents may not want you on them while they’re trying to talk to you, during dinner, or maybe at bedtime. I also imagine your teachers are probably telling you to put them away during school hours, or at least during class time.

So now, Iliana, the big question becomes, “Why do adults care and bother you over your electronics, huh?” Well, that’s a good question, Iliana. And since you were born a digital native and have never known a time without electronics, it’s probably especially bothersome to you than adults when entering some electronics-free zone.

I know what I’m going to say next won’t’ make it any easier for you, but, here’s the deal. I’m assuming adults are bothering you about your phone because they care about you. They probably want you to be fluent in face-to-face conversations that don’t involve electronics. Most likely, they also want you to be distraction-free so you’re safe and can learn at your highest level. They want you to be healthy and eat and sleep so you can be at your best and live your life to its fullest.

Now maybe the adults in your life don’t always get it just right, Iliana, but they’re trying to do what they think is good for you. And as the adults in your life, that’s the job they’ve been assigned to do. Hopefully, they’re getting it right more often than not. And even though they are imperfect, maybe someday you’ll thank them for at least trying to look out for you.

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Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker, and educator who has appeared on over 100 television and radio shows. To find out more about Dan or to submit a question to him, please visit him on his website at: