Why One Mom Suddenly Turned Off Her 11-Year-Old Daughter’s Cell Phone and Has No Regrets (Exclusive)

“I don’t know when I’m going to give it back,” Kelly Wood says in a video posted on TikTok

Kailey Wood/TikTok

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Kailey Wood/TikTok

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Kailey Wood/TikTok

Kailey Wood

A mom is going viral on TikTok for sharing that she suddenly deactivated her 11-year-old daughter’s cell phone and isn’t sure when she’ll give it back because of the “harmful” impact she says it has had.

“I took my 11-year-old’s phone away after she had it for over a year,” Kailey Wood says in the video.

Wood says she first gave her daughters (ages 11 and 13) phones when they were about 10 to give them more independence.

But now the 37-year-old mom from Buffalo, New York, says she’s “seeing firsthand how harmful” cellphones can be to younger people.

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“So much so that last night I finally said, ‘I’ve had enough of this,’ and deactivated my 11-year-old’s phone,” she says in the TikTok video. – And I don’t know when I’ll give it back.

She adds that the problem is not necessarily her daughter’s use of social media: “It’s that girls with hormonal disorders are jealous.”

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“With teenage girls, there is always jealousy, there will always be that layer,” she adds. “But when we were younger, we couldn’t just say what we wanted.”

Wood continues: “My daughter isn’t in any trouble or anything. It’s just my decision.”

She added that she had heard from other parents and teachers that cell phones had caused “so much drama” among preschool-aged girls in recent years.

“Phones and social media… are part of teenagers’ lives now. But at what cost?” Wood adds.

In an interview with PEOPLE, Wood says her daughter “wasn’t happy” with her decision, “but we discussed why and what we would do instead so that she could still connect with her friends and that we could make sure she was safe when she was outside “

For now, Wood’s daughter is learning that life without a phone is not so bad.

“We’ve had a lot of conversations… and overall her anxiety and mood are better because she’s not distracted by her friends on the phone,” he says.

Wood has since bought her daughter an Apple Watch, which will allow her to send texts and calls when needed, and she also uses an iPad with screen time limits and no access to social media.

“My goal is to avoid any social conflict that social media or group chats unintentionally create. Being a teenager already comes with enough pressure and drama, which leads to more depression and anxiety, says Wood.

She says that since her video went viral, she has heard about it from dozens of mothers in similar situations.

“It’s not easy raising children in the digital age, and it’s easy for parents to give in to the pressure as kids get phones earlier and earlier,” says Wood. “But if we can come together and make it a norm to not have access to the world via phone until at least high school, I think we’ll all be better off for it.”

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