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Parenting Teens and Media

How are we managing it?  What are our habits?

Inventory your own technology habits, family time, how much time you spend with your kids.

How do we expect our kids to manage it without it being a forbidden fruit?

What would the sages say?

  • You have to develop the inner-discipline to manage your time
  • Obsession indicative of lack of connection, attachment
  • Do real stuff
  • Antidote to virtual is real, like working out to staying in shape
  • Be conscious of our time together


What are our choices?  Choose one, be consistent.


  • Let them do what they want/ no restrictions (but they pay)
  • Let them do what they want as long as they meet their responsibilities
  • Parental controls for appropriate sites and time limits
  • Earn time on screen with incentives
  • Volunteering for community work
  • Two logins
  • No recreational screen time on weekdays
  • Don’t have internet and or a computer
  • Phone but limited phone numbers
  • Limit texting
  • Have them present a plan
  • Don’t pay for it
  • Total abstinence


Healthy deterrents for screen time over-use and other substance issues

  • Table games with the kids
  • Family meals together
  • Family trips together
  • Irresistible books
  • Great conversation
  • Outings to places out of range
  • One day a week media blackout for everyone
  • No computers in the bedrooms
  • Pet together time
  • Art and craft projects
  • Outings to sports or other events
  • Live entertainment, concerts, etc.
  • Model moderate use
  • Knowing where your kids are, checking out their friend’s homes
  • Extended family and friend celebrations, get-togethers
  • Engaging stimulating educational opportunities
  • Youth groups
  • Summer camps
  • Playing musical instruments
  • Bowling, skating, etc.
  • Work
  • Reading to your kids
  • Sleeping outside, looking at the starts
  • Cooking together (cookies etc)
  • Taking walks bikerides
  • Camping
  • Boating, sailing, kayaking
  • Skiing, etc.
  • Hobbies
  • Collecting
  • Puzzles
  • Subsidize non-screen time activities, events, hobbies
  • Drama productions


Rick Concoff c2012



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