Last Updated on March 5, 2024

They say if we want to know what America will be like in five years concerning electronics, we can look to Korea. Korea currently has an Adolescent Technology Addiction problem (ATA) that they categorize as a medical condition, and it’s covered by their government. When I heard the report of this, I was amazed by what one mother said about her 15-year-old son. “He plays for seven to eight hours a day everyday, and I am afraid if something doesn’t happen, I will lose him forever.” He had been in the top of his class most of his schooling, and now, 18 months later, he is at the bottom.

The next day, I was talking with a friend who came to me for counsel on her teenage boy. This always amazes me when it happens because the verdict is still out on my own parenting skills. But she was desperate for answers. She told me how unruly and disrespectful her son was behaving. He doesn’t get enough sleep because he is texting until the wee hours of the morning. She said it has gotten worse since becoming obsessed with playing “Call of Duty.” I suggested what, to me, seemed glaringly obvious, “So why not take these things away from him? Or better yet, get rid of it?”

“Well, he paid for it, and he would be so mad at us if we did that.” She could see the wheels turning in my head and laughed because she could guess what I would say next. …

Have we all gone mad? Who runs this home? Who is in charge? Does he pay the bills? He doesn’t even buy his own underwear, for goodness sake. Since when did parents care more about being friends with their children than protecting them? I calmly said, “Seriously, isn’t your son’s soul and heart worth more than a $400 piece of equipment?”

Rules are hard to enforce, but that is what parenting is: “Parenting is to nurture and protect.” A phrase synonymous to parenting is “to create.” The antonym is to destroy. Do I want to protect my children, or do I want to see them destroy themselves? Of course we all want to see our children succeed, but are we willing to make the hardcore decisions it takes to accomplish that? I realize we can only do so  much, and children will still turn out however they may turn out. But it is worth trying.

Concerning electronics, we have a few simple rules in our house:

  1. At 8 p.m., all electronics on deck. That means all iTouch’s, iPods, and DS’s are on the top shelf before or at 8 p.m., or you lose it for one full week.
  2. Nothing with a screen goes on or is used by children in the home until after 4 p.m. and all homework and chores are completed.
  3. All eating is done solely in the kitchen or on the deck — not in front of the TV, computer, or the like.
  4. Tim and I have decided that our children will not receive their own phones until they pay for their own after 18 years of age.

So far, things are going well in these areas; however, the verdict is still out on the outcome.

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  1. Karen Lewis says:

    I stumbled across this post today and must say I am so behind you. My husband and I feel the same way with regards to our children (protecting them) and electronics. WE are in charge – not them. And I am more than happy to take away a $39 video game that my 8 year old has purchased with his own money if I think that it's causing behavior problems or I deem it unfit for him to play. In all honesty, our kids are very good and generally submit to our rules because they know we love them and it's for their protection.

    As an aside – we homeschool too – we're in our 6th year and have three kiddos – ranging in age from 5-13. Fun times, indeed. 🙂

  2. Penelope J Watkins says:

    I would love to home school my granddaughters and grand neice and nephew (if I could). But, I am not equipt with all the answers about it. Here are my concerns:

    Social activities – ie. proms

    College – How is one assured they will be prepared for college?

    Subjects – I am lousy at or know nothing about. Are there others to help me, so I can teach them?

    Can take certain classes in other places? ie. Chemistry, Physics, Advanced Math or Computer classes.

    What does one do about these things?

  3. Between sports, music, theater, homeschool groups and jobs my children have their fair share of socializing. We have an assistant who helps us in the home and she is 17 and has been homeschooled for 9 years. Two weeks ago she attended homecoming at the public school, last weekend she went for a tournament in Houston, and this weekend is testing for her black belt. Socializing within homeschool comes in many forms. It is not about socializing solely with your peers but with every generation.

    As far as insuring that every element of their high schooling meets the requirements for college, you can work with organizations such as "College Plus" who will assist you in keeping track of everything they need. There are also resources that provide spreadsheet formats for keeping track of that yourself.

    Lastly, when it comes to subjects you don't feel adequate in teaching their are homeschool co-ops popping up all over the place. These are an excellent source of teaching our children, science, dance, band or even a foreign language. It's so much fun. I love homeschooling my children. The quality time and experiences are priceless. However the term "homeschool," is evolving into…"schooling your own and not necessarily at home." But the acronym would be SYONNAH and that just doesn't work.

    To find out about all the rich information concerning homeschooling in your area. Search the internet using the name of your county and "homeschooling" or "home schooling" will at least lead you to homeschool conventions in your area. Go to the conventions…..(1)Take all the classes you can,(2) Ask about every local group and (3)Talk to the merchants selling their versions of teaching certain subjects. FIND OUT WHAT STYLE YOU LIKE BEST.

    If you need direction in that area I can be of some help. Please feel free to ask me questions concerning curriculum and styles. Happy homeschooling! Heather<