Sunday, January 29, 2012

Computer in the bedroom: have the rules changed?


I have been thinking a lot recently about how much the game has changed in terms of kids and their use of technology, but the rules for parents have not caught up yet with the game.

When my daughter was first starting school, the mainstream advice for parents was to keep the family computer in a public place in the house. Don’t let your child go into chat rooms because there may be sexual predators. Keep screen time limited to 1-2 hours. Don’t give out private information. Don’t email something that you wouldn’t say to someone’s face. Possibly set up some kind of nanny control over what websites your child can view.

In many ways, those rules are out of date and no longer provide helpful guidance to parents. My daughter received a 4th generation Ipod touch for her 11th birthday. This essentially means that she has a computer, phone, television etc. in her room, and it would be foolish of me to think otherwise. At this point, she innocently uses it to “facetime” with her friends, sends iMessages repeatedly, and chats with others- -often all at the same time. She is not allowed on Facebook or any other social network. She is a good kid with good grades and no record of participating in on-line bullying, but I want to be aware enough to make sure she doesn’t go astray.

As I see it, there are several issues that we as parents, and educators, need to think about:

  • The constant distraction our kids are faced with while trying to do homework or read a book
  • The time they spend chatting instead of actually talking to friends and family
  • The propensity to write things that they would never actually say to someone’s face
  • The gossip and hurtful nature chatting can take on- it’s so easy to chat about other people
  • Cyber bullying
Yes, sharing private information, sexual predators, screen time over physical exercise are still issues too, but we would be foolish to think that these are the primary concerns today. There was an article in the Seattle Times yesterday by Julie Weed, “Ways for parents to ease tussle with teens over tech use.” This is the only article I found dealing with the rapidly changing nature of teens and technology, and contains a suggestion for setting new ground rules for parents.
The author says:
Today's parents may feel like technology is not just encroaching on, but subsuming, their family time. They may also get the uneasy feeling that their teens could be doing things online that could land them in trouble… As scientists and parents know, self-control is not fully developed in teen brains, so it can be hard for them to voluntarily turn off a video game or log out of Facebook. The average 8- to 18-year-old spends more than 7 ½ hours each day using entertainment media, according to a 2010 Kaiser Family Foundation study.
She provides a list of 5 rules for parents. I’m not sure that I agree with her rules completely, but at least there is someone out there rethinking the rules.

After much consideration, I have come to the conclusion that my daughter should be allowed to have her ipod in her room. I don’t think the old advice of keeping a computer in a public place is going to work for us in terms of ipods. It seems to me that I need to focus on open communication more than black and white rules. Just being aware that an ipod touch is a computer, and phone and television, is a step in the right parenting direction, and I need to keep an open dialogue with my daughter about what she is doing and with whom she is communicating. Through open communication, I hope we can set boundaries together. I can’t say for sure this is the attitude I will have in a year, or even six month, but for now, with a 6th grader, this seems appropriate.

The game has changed, and the rules need to catch up. What do you think the issues are and what should the rules be?

19 comments:

  1. Hi Aviva,
    I'm consern about the same thing, My son is only 2yrs old. And he is too much addicted in iPod. All the time he want to pass his time with it. If I try to bring it from him, he become angry and start crying.

    Thanks for sharing your post!
    Maria@BedtimeDeal

    ReplyDelete
  2. Chests of drawers should be your next purchase if you have a relatively good sized bedroom. Chests of drawers are ideal for storage.http://www.easeofmobility.com/best-shower-seat-guide/

    ReplyDelete
  3. What is Li-Fi technology? Find out more about this advancement in technology and how it can potentially influence our lives!Thesis writing

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sometimes your computer shut down randomly that mean your computer is crashing. This might occur when your computer does not clean over a long period of time. www.reviews.mysteryblock.com/gtx-970-vs-gtx-1060/

    ReplyDelete
  5. In the recent past, technology has improved quite a lot. First laptops were only meant for professional purpose but now laptops are also being used solely for gaming. Gaming laptops give you the freedom to play your game anytime at any place. http://www.budgetgaminglaptops.net

    ReplyDelete
  6. Always try to buy stain resistant carpeting for your bedroom and any other room of the house, especially if you choose a light colored carpet.DIY home decor ideas

    ReplyDelete
  7. Fine oriental rugs and more expensive designer throw rugs are very popular among those wealthier persons who really take their bedroom d├ęcor very seriously.recliners on sale under 200

    ReplyDelete
  8. I might want to thank you for the endeavors you have made in composing this article. I am trusting the same best work from you later on too..  OceanOfGames

    ReplyDelete
  9. All systems used the latest DDR3 RAM. The computer with 8 GB of RAM may perform better than those computers with 6 GB of RAM. Midwest Retro Audio

    ReplyDelete
  10. I respect this article for the very much investigated substance and magnificent wording. I got so included in this material that I couldn't quit perusing. I am awed with your work and aptitude. Much obliged to you to such an extent. click here

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you again for all the knowledge you distribute,Good post. I was very interested in the article, it's quite inspiring I should admit. I like visiting you site since I always come across interesting articles like this one.Great Job, I greatly appreciate that.Do Keep sharing! Regards, visita il sito

    ReplyDelete
  12. I respect this article for the very much investigated substance and magnificent wording. I got so included in this material that I couldn't quit perusing. I am awed with your work and aptitude. Much obliged to you to such an extent. klik voor meer

    ReplyDelete
  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  14. This is a wonderful product, taking into account all the information about it, this type of product that prevents user interest in the site, and you will share more ... good luck.  mejores vpn

    ReplyDelete
  15. I admit, I have not been on this web page in a long time... however it was another joy to see It is such an important topic and ignored by so many, even professionals. I thank you to help making people more aware of possible issues privacyenbescherming

    ReplyDelete
  16. I truly value this superb post that you have accommodated us. I guarantee this would be helpful for a large portion of the general population. https://getmoreprivacy.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thank you again for all the knowledge you distribute,Good post. I was very interested in the article, it's quite inspiring I should admit. I like visiting you site since I always come across interesting articles like this one.Great Job, I greatly appreciate that.Do Keep sharing! Regards, https://privacyonline.com.br

    ReplyDelete
  18. It is advisable to use privacy tools and restrict internet access for children so I highly suggest using VPN for BBC iPlayer, Netflix, other streaming platforms and sites in which input of personal information is required.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I agree with you because all your tips about kids care are very good and if we follow these, we can improve our children's care and they can spend a good life. Computers are good but we should not provide it separately because they can use it wrong purpose. One of the writers of dissertation writing services also provided me good guidelines for children care.

    ReplyDelete