My 21-year-old daughter and I listened recently when a family was having trouble with their son using his cell phone at night. My daughter was shocked that the parents didn’t know how to control their child. She knew from experience that the Internet in our home was shut off at night.
As for cell phones, our children didn’t have one until late in high school. A teacher had cancelled a sports practice for one of our daughters, but she didn’t know. She went and discovered the school was locked. Since she had no way to let us know, she sat outside until the time when practice was usually over and I picked her up. She was given a phone then with limited access to be sure that situation didn’t happen again. All our children were required to turn in their phones at night.
We also limited Internet sites by using parental controls. They needed to request access for other sites, and we had access to their accounts if we questioned anything. If they were visiting a friend, we required them to tell us who they were visiting or where they planned to go. We saw this as a basic safety issue.
Now as a young adult, my youngest daughter wonders how parents allow certain behavior, and often says that when she has children, she will limit access to phones and the Internet for them too. We always told our kids that God gave them old-fashioned parents for a reason. And we’re happy that strong “old” values were instilled in them.
How We Kept Our Kids’ Electronic Usage Under Control
The Dr. Laura Call of the Day Podcast