single dad needs advise

Hi, I am a single dad with 2 kids. My eldest girl just got into sec sch. And has this bad habit of using her hand phone all the time. Sometimes even forgetting to do her homework.
Any mummy can advise me pls ?
Hi daddy of 2,

What I know about raising kids (I cannot base this stance from a personal experience because my daughter is still a baby) that works best(in my opinion) is implementing positive reinforcement. This is a technique used by parents, even teachers to modify their children's behavior by reinforcing desired behaviors. The fact that it does not use pain, punishment, intimidation, yelling, degradation, humiliation, shame, guilt or other things that can hurt the child, their self-esteem, emotional growth, well-being or their relationship with parent or teacher has made positive reinforcement popular around the world and used in many classrooms. What it does is it increases the likelihood of doing a certain behavior if it is acknowledged. Example, your daughter can't take her hands off of her mobile device. What you can do (positive reinforcement) is that whenever she doesn't hold the device, you acknowledge it and tell her that you are pleased or better yet, tell her that you appreciate that she spends more of her time in doing household chores or studying. In this way, your daughter will discern that spending more time in much more valuable tasks is more important than spending it on her mobile phone.

Just my two cents. But hope this helps.


Well-Known Member
i think its a very common prob for teenagers (and adults as well) and this is also a very sensitive age to be dealt with. if u handle it wrongly, it might get worst as she might feel that u are trying to control her and might turn rebellious.
i think it would be good to hv a good talk with her n lay down some rules. but of cos, both sides need to compromise.
let her understand that u do not want to restrict her using her phone but u also do not wish for her to fall short from her studies. maybe set up a time table for her..?
like from XX - XX time she need to finish her work, after tt she can use her phone for all she wants?


Kids learn fast. Do u pick up phones and reply sms all the time too? Cos if u r, she will not listen to u...
Tks for ur advise. I will try that out.

I am already restricting her time. But whenever I am not around she will be glued to her phone. She is really turning rebellious.
I seldom use my phone at home. (Hoping to set a gd example)

She is already having gastric problem so I can't bring myself to do that.

Thanks everyone. Maybe guys are just not cut to to so much.


Active Member
when i went for counselling on how to take care of my teenage sister, my counsellor taught me 1 common way is through negotiation.

like if you want her to do A, you got to give her B. so that u b in win win situation.

i forgot my example with my sister. but i think 1 way i did was if she finish her homework, i will unlock my PC for her to use.


Alpha Male
The issue is not about using the phone, is about doing the homework.
Reinforce the importance of getting homework done.
As for the phone.. need to understand what she does on the phone.. surfing for info, or group chat with her frens.
Most likely.. is going to be group chatting.
She's probably lonely, so.. perhaps try to supplement that need.

Using phone is not a bad thing by itself.. it's about moderation.
Dun allow the rebellious nature to take hold of the relationship.
Try to joke with her.. like.. eh.. chatting with yr boyfren ah?
Try to get her to share her interests with u.


New Member
the poor father dotes on his girl so much.
there should be some other way. :)

You need to be firm with kids at times , this is what i learn.

I am sorry if i have to put in such an anology : working with kids is like working in the company. firm and soft approach. I cannot think of other ways already !


Alpha Male
I reason with my son, please do not take it as they dont understand.
It takes time to start, my boy is 6 this year.

Just 2days ago he was with me to work @ expo, on the way home he was jumping on water puddles.
All I did was: 'Oie! Little man! Come here, are you my good boy?'
He replied 'Yes'
Me : 'Good boy means must do what?'
Him : 'Listen to Daddy'
Me : 'What did I say about playing with all the dirty water on the floor?'
Him : 'Will fall sick, Daddy will be very busy & tired'

After that he just follows, just have to keep telling them why in a firm tone. If this is build up from young, you will hardly need to scold when older. Make them understand rather than telling them 'Do's & Dont'ts' so they know what they can do & what they cannot do by themselves.

My friends talk to him while eating, he will reply 'Daddy say cannot talk when eating'

But at your daughter's age, cannot go too harsh. Teens have a 50/50 chance to turn rebellious, what my friend did was 'ALLOW' her daughter's friends to come daily and study together. Thsi is due to her daughter cannot study alone and they can only study in living room, be it finish homework or revision. When daughter's result is good she treat them all to movie.

But she said she never ever promise her girl anything about rewards, just let her friends come. Rewards are surprises when she has good grades, this will not turn her child in to a 'Benefit driven person'.
1 - She told her girl, bring your friends to study at home together.
2 - If you didnt improve, next time there is no need for them to come up.
3 - Daughter did well, she rewards, but not always. Random is the key 'Reason is mummy work alone, if have enough money than can have such enjoyment'

Not sure if it's of any help =)
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Have ask your daughter why she is keep using Hp? For me, i think you should try to understand your child first. May be she feel lonely without mummy. This is a very common problem in single family. Try to let her know u love her, and care her. May be she got a lot of problems that can not share with you. So she need to share with her friends.
Hi Decipher,
Alr tried that method but she is not interested.
I also offer to treat her friends for lunch & movie but was also turn down by her.

U could be rite. However, I talk to her almost everyday just before bed time n also explain to her y I do certain things. But when it comes to using her phone, she will just ignore me and stay glued to it. What could be on a young girls mind at her age ?


Hi daddy of 2,

I don't hve kids of that age but i do have a cousin who is in sec 2 this year and she is glued to her phone all the time too. I believe the main reason is that her parents always nag at her and control her, to the extent that she refused to go home and ended up staying at my place for a period of time. She can't feel her family's care and concern so she turned to her friends.

What i think is, try not to restrict her too much or she will think that you're just out to control her and that may worsen the situation. She may not feel that your restriction is an act of concern and is for her own good.. I believe most teenagers won't think that way till they grow older. Instead, be friends with her. Maybe you can ask her to recommend you some games or apps so as to bring both of you closer. You can say things like "since you're always on your phone, can recommend me which app is good for bla bla bla?" Ask her to teach you how to do this and that on your phone even if you know how.. the main pt is to make her chat with you like a friend. Or ask her if her friends know of any good phones lately. Say that your friend wants recommendation and you're helping him to ask. In such a way you may be able to know who her friends are and start to get to know them from there.

For my cousin, she doesn't really do anything on her phone actually. Just keep refreshing her twitter acc and see updates.. whatsapp-ing her friends, etc. Don't think there's something bad involved but it's just that habit that is hard to break free from.

Giving rewards and treating her friends to lunch etc dont really work i suppose.. at that age, i doubt they'll want to hangout with parents. what i can say is just let her be but monitor it closely. but do have a serious talk with her saying that she can do what she want but must not neglect her studies. if not you'll take action. tell her that if she wants something, she has to work for it as nothing comes free. Say that you trust her to know what she should do because she is old enough to understand, then monitor it for a period of time.


Alpha Male
Hi Decipher,
Alr tried that method but she is not interested.
I also offer to treat her friends for lunch & movie but was also turn down by her.
What does your daughter likes? Like activities?
Dance/ Music/ Drama etc? Occupy her with such, which will build responsibilities.
You on the other hand, work closely with the 'Coach/ Instructor' to guide her towards studies.