Mom Pays Teenage Son $1,800 To Stay Off Social Media Until His 18th Birthday

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Many teens are addicted to social media. Heck, many adults are! It’s just this day and age—Instagram, TikTok…it’s everywhere, and can really be a time suck.

However, one mom wanted to get ahead of the times and protect her son from the addiction. When Sivert Klefsaas was just 12 years old, his mom, Lorna, promised that if he could stay off social media until he was 18—a whole six years—then she would gift him $1,800. She called it her “18-for-18 challenge.”

At a pre-teen, of course, this sounded like the best deal ever for Sivert. “Being 12, I didn’t really have that great of a concept of money yet, so I was like, ‘Oh sick, yeah, absolutely,’” he said.

As a competitive athlete and personality in general, Sivert treated the challenge like anything else—something he was going to win.

And, six years later, guess what? He did it! At 18 uears old, Sivert is social media free and $1,800 richer.

In fact, Lorna never doubted her son—she knew that anything he put his mind to he’d be able to do. She had the money waiting for him in a savings account for six months prior to giving it to him.

“He did really dig in. He was like, ‘I’m not breaking this.’ I’m proud of him because there were a few times where it was harder,” Lorna said.

Lorna got the idea after seeing how much her daughter, Sivert’s older sister, struggled with social media addiction.

“She got so obsessed with keeping up her Snapchat streaks that it was affecting her mood and her friendships,” she said. “I mean, it was like an intervention. She was really, really upset, but it was not even three weeks later that she thanked us and said she was so happy to not have her phone.”

So will Sivert stay without a social media account now that he’s made the big bucks? Nah—actually, one of the first things he did after turning 18 was create his very first Instagram account.

However, he still thinks the challenge was beneficial since he feels much more ready for it at this age than he did at 12. Make no mistake, it’s still a confusing concept for him, being out of the game for so long.

“It’s hilarious. I feel like I’m like 80. I can’t figure out social media,” he said. “It’s honestly pretty embarrassing. I’ll be with my friends, and they are like, ‘What are you doing?’ On the whole, I would definitely say totally worth it. I mean, I would do it again.”

Besides creating an Instagram account, Sivert says he’s going to use the money to buy a new TV.

To hear more on this story, check out the video below!

Would you ever challenge your kids to not use social media for years? Why or why not?