It was a tried and tested punishment. When children overstepped the mark, a lengthy period spent in isolation often had the desired effect.
But in recent years youngsters have become less concerned about the prospect of being sent to their rooms, where they are free to spend the day idling away on their mobile phones and games consoles.
Determined to turn the tables, a British father has taken the matter into his own hands, inventing an app which allows parents to “ground” their children digitally and control their smartphones.
His app, named SafeToNet, allows parents to disable other apps on children’s mobile devices, monitor the websites they access and the duration spent on them, and if required, enables them to switch the phone off.
The app is a response to growing fears over the dangers posed by children’s unrestricted access to the internet and mobile technology.
Richard Pursey, the creator and chief executive of SafeToNet, said that he felt compelled to act when he saw his own children “burying their heads in social networks”.
"In days gone by if you wanted a child to put their phone down there would be a moment of conflict," he added. "Our software allows you to remotely lock your child's device, whether it's at the table or because it's in their bedroom and it's time for sleep.
"Social networks are the wild west, they're utterly out of control. I saw all this horrific stuff in my research. I was totally astonished.
"We exist to block harmful content before it's seen and before the damage is done. If you’re a mum being told, 'Your daughter has seen a public beheading', it's already too late, the damage is done."
Mr Pursey added that the app also allows parents to regulate the times of day when their children are using their mobiles, with a remote timer allowing them to turn it off before bedtime.
SafeToNet, which has been tested in schools and is an official partner of Anti-Bullying week, will also be updated later this year to include a filter which will block and intercept harmful messages before a child can see them.
The new tool will use artificial intelligence to learn a child's normal behaviour pattern, such as who they talk to and what they say, in order sift out malicious content.
Dozens of schools across the country will test the app at the beginning of the academic year.
The app has been welcomed by headmaster Derek Peaple, of Park House School, who said it would support efforts to educate children on smartphone safety.
"Tools like SafeToNet are vital for the future of schooling as they not only keep children safe but also enable them to confidently explore the learning potential of the digital age without fear of abuse and attack," he added.
If we can do it then the big companies have to be able to
Whilst Mr Pursey’s app has the backing of the education sector, child safety campaigners have warned that the app may be counter intuitive and prevent children from “opening up” to their parents.
"Our advice is that parents talk to their children rather than use monitoring devices that could have an impact on their privacy, particularly as they get older," said a spokesman for the NSPCC.
"While it can be tempting to read your child's messages or block them from going online as a means to protect them, it can seem like a punishment and may stop your children in the future from opening up to you about problems they are dealing with online."