Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Struggling with kids and electronics.....

Almost 40 days ago we put our kids on an Electronic Fast. You can read about it here.... In the beginning it was a little challenging... and today not so much... They are looking forward to having their cells, IPods, and computers back I am sure... but my husband and I had to reflect on the reasons why the Fast was started and we needed to take steps to help prevent the obsessive compulsive behavior that had taken over their lives..... Below are the Rules that we have come up with.... Before I give this to them - Do you have any advice... opinions that will help us in being better parents.... Your input is appreciated...

New Electronic Rules Effective Immediately...

  1. Computer - 1 hour a day only.. May use between 6 - 9 (homework must be completed). Use after 9:00 will result in the computer being taken away for 2 full days - not counting the day it was taken.. Must record computer time on login/log off sheet and have Dad or I approve... Must let us know when you are off the computer and record it - Saying you forgot -will NOT fly... You will NOT be allowed to go beyond your 1 hour usage at this time. The time frame may be extended upon Dad and I agreeing - but don't ask for the extension - we will let you know.. Asking will only irritate and no good will come from that. NO EXCEPTIONS will be made at this time.... or until further notice.
  2. IPod - may not be looked/played when we are talking.. They are NOT allowed at Church, school, or at the dinner table. DO NOT use for FB or any other form of communication after 9:00 on weekdays - 11:00 on weekends (Friday/Saturday).. Sunday is not a weekend night... Use good judgment. If Dad or I feel you are abusing this right - it will be taken away for 2 full days - not counting the day it was taken.
  3. Cell phones - No calls/texting after 9:00 PM on weekdays.. 11:00 on weekends. (Friday/Saturday) Sunday is not a weekend. You are only allowed to talk or text people you know fact to face!!! If you do not have contact with them in the "real" world - they are NOT a "real" friend... and you will NOT contact them via text or any other way.. Breaking this rule will have the cell taken away for one week.. Dad and I reserve the right to check your phone at anytime. If your messages are deleted often - we will assume you are hiding something and your phone will be taken away for 1 day and we will observe who is texting you.. Trust is earned... Contacts that are on your phone presently that are NOT face to face friends must be deleted immediately... Dad and I know who your friends are and we reserve the right to confirm the name that goes with the number.. No more putting false names to hid random "non" face to face friends.. We are on to that trick.. Also - when someone is talking to you - especially your dad or I - You are NOT allowed to look at or read texts.. The text can wait until we are done communicating.. No cells at the dinner table. No texting at church (no exceptions) No texting at school (no exceptions.).. If dad or I observe suspicious behavior we reserve the right to take your phone without warning....
  4. TV - is only allowed after ALL homework is completed. If a test and/or quiz comes back with a C or lower - TV privileges will be taken away until a) I see a better grade in that course or b) you show me the work you have completed and you are on task.. If you receive another low grade. TV privileges are lost for 2 days (or more).. TV is a privilege Not a right... Studying and good grades are more important - so if you want TV - you will get good grades.. both of you are extremely smart girls and have the ability to be super stars - Give your Best in ALL that you do!
  5. Facebook - You MUST delete "non" face to face friends.. Being a fan is okay... But you are not friends with a random boy a friend of a friend knows.. Facebook is for YOUR FRIENDS not someone else's friend... Especially at your young age... Believe me when you are older and wiser you will understand.. Until then - you will have the "type" of friends that your dad and I approve of... Regarding POSTS and LIKES.. Be sure they are not "drama oriented" or inappropriate.. Remember everyone on your friend list will see what you post.. Think before you post - ask yourself this question... Do I want my mom, dad, grandma, aunts, uncles, cousins, pastors, and/or friends reading this post or like? If the answer is "no" or "I don't know" Don't POST or LIKE it!!!! Also, your dad and I have the right to check y our wall or private messages if we feel something is up.. We believe you do have a right to privacy and we will grant it if and only if we feel you are doing the right thing.. If you delete your messages often and act obsessive regarding your messaging - we will believe something is up and FB will be taken away so that Dad and/or I will observe what is going on.. We also reserve the right to review your friend list with you and advise if we believe someone should be deleted..
You Dad and I have come up with the above Rules because we Love you and we were/are concerned with specific behaviors that you have had in the past... Your electronic fast is soon over and you will be given your electronic privileges back but there are limits and you MUST follow the rules to continue to enjoy your devices.. We reserve the right to add or take away restrictions...

Please sign below...
I have read the rules and I understand that if we want to enjoy the privilege of TV, cells, IPods, computer, and Facebook - we will use good judgment and think before acting......

** Photo from Flickr


  1. What mean parents you are! You are on the right track. More parents should be like you. I only had to worry about TV and a little bit of computer stuff when my kids were in school.

  2. May I copy these rules? I LOVE them!!! Genius!!

  3. Cell phones and texting are the end of the world's social interaction. Sheldon gave up all social media and phone for lent.

  4. I never had problems with my sons and there technology mainly due to the fact that they didn't have any at your daughters' age. There weren't tvs in the bedrooms, one computer for all six of us to share, no cell phones or ipods. Even now, they have cell phones and computers but because they pay for their 'toys' I don't see the misuse of them. Guess that's what a difference of 5-10 years make in child rearing.

  5. I think it's great! More parents should do this. My 10 year old son wants a phone and a Facebook account. I said no way. They grow up too fast as it is.

    Keep up the good work!

  6. Hi there taking for visiting .. I'm following your blog now too!!! This is a great idea.. children spend too much time on technical gadgets...HHL

  7. Great post!! Just a couple of suggestions..if you want..,
    Don't put a specific amount of time for the 'take away''..for example, instead of the 2 day consequence...say, "I'll let you know when" Keeps them on their toes and gives all the power to you...
    Also...if possible..electronic devices should be used in a room you walk through's harder to keep secrets that way:)

  8. I loved reading this! Finally parents who are in their kids' business as they should be, especially Facebook. Even I, being 36, ask myself the question each time I post on Facebook: Is this appropriate for all to read? I wish more parents took the time to really supervise regarding Facebook, I think it can be more dangerous than they think. Kudos to you!

  9. I'm so dreading when my boys are old enough to be using electronics this way! I admit I may copy these rules to use when they are!

    Thanks for coming on over to Mom is the Only Girl! I'm a follower!

  10. One thing I did with the cell phones is when the time was up for the day, they left them in the kitchen and off. They weren't allowed to take them in their bedrooms where they might have been tempted to be on there. In the morning, they picked it back up for use again.

  11. I am commenting with the utmost respect. How you choose to raise your daughters is entirely up to you and who am I to judge. However...(you knew there was a however)...are you and/or your husband using the above items unnecessarily and therefore setting the example? Also, my daughter attended an information session with a Police Officer who presented the dangers of FB and how easy it is to gain access to the information. Is there an information session in your area you might all be able to attend?

  12. GREAT rules! My stepdaughter is 11 and already wanting a cell phone. She's lost 2 Nintendo DSs and her mom still bought her a third one. I just don't think she's responsible enough yet, but since her mom and stepdad are her primary caregivers, we really have no say.

  13. Good deal!!!! Add that they MUST take Financial Peace University (usually youth can attend with parents for free--at least in the classes we coordinate--there is also a youth version) which teaches not only how to manage your money, but you will find that good money management skills also lead to the ability to manage all areas of your life!!!!

    Good job--and be sure to follow through--no matter how hard it is!!!

  14. Love your blog post. I just linked back to you at my other blog Parenting in and Electronic Age. Thanks for some great ideas...

    Brandy aka Lil’ Momma

    Parenting in an Electronic Age



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