Managing Monday’s Electronics vs the World part 2: The Middle School years

Managing Monday’s Electronics vs the World part 2: The Middle School years

Cell phones, game consoles, computer time, on-line gaming just to name a few of the choices that come up at this critical age. Pre-teens and the information and distractions that are available to them are unbelievable. It is a wonder to me that all kids are not ADD or have some other disorder we do nat have a name for yet.

This is difficult, and again I am only one mom sharing what worked and did not work for may family. Remember to keep it open, always give yourself options and try to avoid ultimatums. At the Johnson household, Facebook was not allowed until they were 13. That is the mark set by Facebook and we stuck to it. For our boys this was no big deal but for Jessie it was harder. All her friends were already on and their younger siblings as well. We told her it was a right of passage that came with becoming a teenager and she would just have to wait. On her birthday she was able to have her own account. I have full access to her page and my son Isaac’s, as John could care less, and Christian has not bothered with it yet.

Cell phones were not available for my kids in middle school. This was in part due to the expense, and part to us not wanting them to have them at a young age. We felt that enough other kids had them, and they could get a hold of us at any time so it was not necessary for them to have one. We do not have a land line but chose to have a third cell phone that was shared between the four kids. It worked relatively well, but we had to with stand much moaning and groaning about how hard their life was.

We did not get a game console until the Wii came out when our two youngest were in sixth grade. I had always called Nintendo “No Freindo” because it was so individually orientated and alienated all other people in the room. We again limited it to the weekends, unless we were all playing together as a family. Each of our kids would get an hour and then another hour if they were playing together.

TV was pretty much for sports or movies and we did not watch any weekly series with the exception of American Idol because I love it. They can watch with me if they want to. Monday Night Football, and other sports are watched during the week but only with permission and home work done.

Computer time for gaming or social activity was again limited to the weekends. Our computer is in the Kitchen and very easy to monitor. We do not have TVs or computers in their rooms at this age.

Compared to most, we are pretty strict. I am proud of that. Whatever you decide to do, make sure it is communicated clearly to the whole family. Be clear on the consequences. Have a timer that they can set next to the computer and the game console. For us, these little things made a big difference. When we communicated well, and showed interest in the games or shows they were watching it helped us to still feel connected and somewhat informed, even if we had no idea what they were talking about.

I would still read aloud to them a book we were all interested in. Scott and I also would not let them see a movie that was made after a book until they had read the book. I love to read so I would try to read it too so we could discuss it together. The more our kids see us read, be it the paper, a magazine, an article on-line or the old-fashioned book the more they realize the importance of it. Electronics are not the end of reading but like anything else living by example is always the best communicator.


Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment

Comment here!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: