Monday, 17 June 2013

Teens and Technology

I have a thirteen year old who loves technology.  Since I finished working to have the boys my interest in it does'nt really go past my laptop.
I don't use a mobile phone.
There have been some heated discussions between Bell and I lately about computer time, mobile and Ipod use.
A couple of years ago Bell's dad who lives in another city bought Bell a mobile phone.  I was'nt happy about it at the time.  Her interest in it has diminished somewhat due to the fact that I won't buy her top up cards and she is incredibly tight fisted when it comes to opening up her own purse to top up.  If she were out and about alot on her own or with friends I would top it up for her.
Next came an Ipod.  She loves it and is currently eyeing up an Ipad.  She has been saving Christmas and Birthday money and despite wanting an Ipad - after much debate, she is going to buy a laptop as  Bell's school is changing over to E-learning.  She is in heaven over this fact.  Most of her schoolwork and homework is done online.
I have lots of rules in our house when it comes to tech time and use.  It has been a real sore point between Bell and I but I think we have finally (ok, its a work in progress) come to some kind of neutral ground.
* No mobile phones in the bedroom after lights out.
* No Ipod in the bedroom after lights out.
* Week day computer use is for school work only.
*You tube and TV on demand is for the weekend only.
* No Facebook.
* No Instagram or Twitter.
As we don't watch TV, Bell has taken to downloading some favourite TV programs that she loves.  I'm happy with this, but it is for the weekend only.  It also is a bit kinder on our Broadband account as Mr H likes to download a few programs too.
Although I am on Facebook, Bell's Facebook account is no longer, due to things she was "liking" - inappropriate pages that friends were liking.  Kids this age are like sheep.  I am very unlikely to have one for my blog.  It just feels like another thing to log into.
There are huge problems with online bullying that are linked to Facebook etc.  I don't feel that she is at an age where she could cope emotionally with it.  We had a bit of a break through moment this week.  It went like this:
Bell - "I'm glad you stopped me going on Facebook.  I can concentrate on my dancing and school work".
Me - "Really"?
Bell - "Yeah, I was talking to Aunty D and she said when Sienna is older she won't be allowed on Facebook either".
Thank you Aunty D, if only it had been that easy!
And no Instagram or Twitter. I'm not on either. So I can't monitor it.
Reading back on this it looks quite strict.  But I can only protect her for so long.  And I feel this is a good basis in which to do that.
I know it must be frustrating for her some days.  I hope in the long run she will thank me for being such a Nanna when it comes to Technology.
Do you have similar issues in your house?  What are your house rules when it comes to computer use etc?


  1. I think rules are good - I was at a party in the weekend and there were 10 teenagers aged between 10-13 all lined up on their different technology - none of them spoke to each other all night! I even took a photo I was utterly flabbergasted . . .

  2. It's really about balance, we love our iPads but also make sure we have lots of time together too. I would love to be having discussions with my eldest on Facebook, mobile phones etc. she finds social interaction very difficult, this sets her apart from her peers. It's the way they communicate, being part of the 'club'. If you don't do it you're excluded, I wish it wasn't this way but it is! :) x

  3. Elaina, I can't believe you don't use a mobile!?! Amazing. I envy your strength. I am NOT looking forward to those conversations with the boys as they get older, more independent, and more outspoken. They already are extremely unimpressed when I refuse to let them use our iPad. They are three. They use it like pros. It's a little bit scary. I do make sure that the internet isn't accessible, and that every game is an educational one, but still.... I can't imagine this has been an easy path; well done for staying strong x

  4. Absolutely. I really really struggle with social media it's not something that I agree with for teens at all. My Miss 13 doesn't have a mobile phone, does have an ipod shuffle and her school laptop is to be used where we can see her because she opened a skype account. I too am really strict with it, I'm not at all comfortable with it and I don't think that they necessarily think carefully about what they are doing. I have suggested that she ring her friends and chat to them on the home phone but it really is just so yesterday but I'll keep trying. To me the chatting on the phone is still and oldie but a goodie way of connecting with friends. Totally love your rules I don't think that they are too strict at all. xx

  5. Nope, I don't think they are too strict either. Even my four year old wants laptop time to play Sesame Street games and watch Bob the Builder cartoons, and we have to make rules as to when and how long he can use it. I don't want him not to use the laptop and be at a disadvantage over other children when he goes to school and there are laptops and ipads in the classroom, but I don't want him to spend too much time on it either. It will get more interesting and difficult as he gets older I think! :)

  6. Oh my oh my...if only all mamas were like you! My beans are still so young but all of these guidelines are similar to the ones i have been thinking of already. Personally I can not stand Facebook. I got an account this year for my blog but I think I am going to close it. Kids are not mature enough to handle it...heck there are adults that can't even handle it! And as for the phone I will be collecting them every night at a certain time. Good for you! It makes me happy to see there are others out there that are trying to work on the tech thing as well!

  7. We certainly do not have all the technological gadgets in our house. WE don't have sky and as yet no digital encoder so may lose TV altogether once it changes to digital. My daughter who is 11 gets all her homework via school gmail - so spends quite a bit of time in the evenings on the computer. Generally they are only allowed to do fun stuff - ie games/youtube in the weekends and for about 40 minutes at a time. They each have an MP4 player which they use mainly when we are traveling. I won't let them access facebook though - I don't even have a face book account, and I have probably the most basic mobile phone out.
    Pleased to see I'm not the only parent who is like this.

  8. Love this - I killed my facebook account a year ago - social media is replacing real people and it sickens me. I know many a grown up who cant leave their devices alone when catching up with friends - i find it insulting and rude. Who could be more important than the person in front of you at that moment? Even though we have one or two gadgets, the kids dont have a clue how to use it or what "wonders" they hold. TV is a treat that only comes after allocated chores every other day and for a limited time. They have no idea what they're missing/gaining and I am determined to keep it that way. Go you!

  9. Loved this post. My boys are 8 and 11 but tend to gravitate towards anything with a screen. We've restricted Xbox / screen time to Friday afternoons and limited on Saturdays. Sundays are no-technology for the whole family unless we are watching a particular show together. It's a constant battle though as they are always wanting more screen time and want to resist any limitations on Saturdays and school holidays. I think they thing it's okay to just have a free-for-all during those times but they don't self-limit so DH and I are not okay with it.

  10. Elaina, you sound like a good Mum! There were plenty or tears and silent moods at our house years ago, none of our kids have gotten mobiles until around 16. Too bad what everyone thinks we say, they need parents for a reason, something about that lack of self control.Ps I don't use a mobile much either, I prefer face to face communication.


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