This Dad Goes To Great Lengths To Keep His Kids Off Their Phones

"One day, probably later rather than sooner, my kids will look back on this and really appreciate it."

Bradley Herbst is a creative dad who came up with a silly, but effective, way to keep his 14-year-old daughter Sydney off her phone when they're together. 

Herbst drives Sydney to school every Friday and, throughout the car ride, she's not allowed to be on her phone. If she breaks their rule, her dad will walk her into school instead of just dropping her off. That doesn't sound too bad, right? 

Well, he'll also do it wearing whatever wacky costume he decided to throw on that day — just for her. He's tried on everything from an Elvis costume, to some Alexander the Great getup, to a Cat in the Hat look.


The inspiration for his costume-wearing Friday tradition happen three years ago when Sydney, a sixth-grader at the time, told her dad he couldn't wear the shorts and T-shirt he had on to drive her to school because it was "embarrassing."

"Mind you, I still have no idea what was wrong with what I was wearing. It was just a T-shirt and shorts, and I just dropped her off in the carpool line. I never even got out of the car," Herbst told A Plus. "Well, I figured if she thought that was embarrassing, I would up my game. That's when I got the costume idea — and I turned that 10 minute car ride to school into quality time with her. I told that she if she got on her phone, while in the car with me, I would get out of the car, in the carpool line, for everyone to see!" 

His plan worked. Herbst says that since that day three years ago, Sydney hasn't gone on her phone a single time during their Friday morning drives. And, now that her younger brother Andrew is older, he follows the same rule. Herbst has never had to walk them into the building.

But the best part is that it gives Herbst and his kids some extra quality time during their 10 minute drive to school. "We actually have a 10 minute conversation, without interruption," he said. "You'd be amazed with what kind of information, and how much information, I can get from them, without the interruption of their phones!" 

At first, Sydney wasn't too fond of her father's efforts, but has since come around to the idea. 

"As you can probably tell by her facial expressions in the photos, she was not too pleased with this idea. Over time, especially this past year, both the kids seem to actually be enjoying it," Herbst said. "They even post pictures of me to their Snapchat accounts! Their friends love it. They are constantly getting told by their friends how cool I am, and how they wish their dad would do something like that." 

Herbst takes photos each Friday and posts them on his personal Facebook page. His wife also set up a Facebook dedicated to the costumes so that anyone can check them out because his kids and their friends aren't the only ones who enjoy his efforts. Herbst's friends and family love it, too. 

"They can't wait for my posts to Facebook on Fridays, to see what I've come up with. They're actually disappointed when the kids don't have school, because there are no costumes from me," he said. 

"Our family mantra is that whatever we're doing, whatever situation we're in, even if it's not the best situation, we're going to make the best of it, and try to make it fun. I think this drives home that idea," Herbst said. "One day, probably later rather than sooner, my kids will look back on this and really appreciate it. I hope they realize that it comes from a a place of love." 

Sadly, this Herbst family tradition will be winding down soon. Sydney is heading to high school next year which starts too late for her dad to drive her before he goes to work. 

"I'm hard at work coming up with other ideas to embarrass her!" Herbst said. "I continue to do it with my son, just not as often, because he doesn't get irritated as much as she does." 


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