DEAR GRANDDADDY- A Teen, Parent, and Educator Advice Column BLOG #77

Dear Granddaddy, my 13-year old son threw his iPhone 6 down the stairs so I’d have to buy him a new one? What should I do? Darlene- Angry mom

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


You might not have to do a single thing, Darlene. Natural consequences are the best consequences because they aren’t a punishment from us. They’re just natural consequences caused by the actions of the other person, like your son who threw his phone down the stairs.

If the phone is broken and unusable, then that is the natural consequence caused by his own actions. He no longer has a phone. That’s his problem. Not yours. If the screen is cracked, then that’s the natural consequences. Every time he uses his phone, or one of his friends make fun of his cracked screen, he’ll be reminded that it was dumb of him to throw his phone down the stairs. And he shouldn’t do it again. Marlene, you had nothing to do with his phone breaking. That’s all on him.

The biggest mistake you can make here Darlene is to break down and buy him a new phone. Do not buy him a new phone. Having a phone is a privilege, not a right. Do not buy him a new phone now, or ever again…! If it takes him until adulthood to save enough of his own money to buy his own new phone, then so be it. It will be a well-learned lesson that he needs to learn.

If it really bothers you that he doesn’t have a phone for safety reasons, then buy him the cheapest and oldest phone you can find with phone calling only. No text. No internet. Nothing! Phone calling capabilities only.

He’s going to hound you, Marlene. He going to give you a hard time. But don’t cave in. This is a great opportunity for you to let the natural consequences of life teach your boy a life-lesson. This will help him to grow up and become a good, responsible man someday, instead of a self-centered child in an adult’s body. Darlene, let the natural consequences run their course.

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Dan Blanchard is a bestselling and an award-winning author, speaker, and educator who has appeared in several of the world’s Top Ten Podcasts, and over 100 television and radio shows. He now also has a weekly TV show of his own. To find out more about Dan or to submit a question to him, please visit him on his website at: