It will come as no surprise that my teen daughter spends a lot of time on her phone, using FaceTime, Twitter, Instagram, and SnapChat.
Your teen, too?
No surprise there, either!
Teen Technology Options:
What’s a parent to do?
Nagging is not the answer (tried it).
Having constructive discussions about it works for awhile, but then old habits return (tried it).
Bargaining is not the answer, either (tried it).
It goes like this. Do your homework and a household job, and then you can connect.
For us, that didn’t work because some nights there was no homework.
If the household job she chose was mopping the kitchen floor, great, but it’s a 10-minute job.
In her mind, she was then free to be online for hours.
Suggesting a 10-minute mopping job earned only 10 minutes of screen time wasn’t the answer, either.
Trying to find THE answer was exhausting!
After much thought and research, I came up with a plan that I thought might work.
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If you’re unfamiliar with the Montessori version of education, much emphasis is placed on the student (the “learner”) figuring out information on her own.
My daughter has grown up in the Montessori system for all but a year and a half of her entire education. She’s very familiar with the concept of self-directed learning.
Here’s what I did.
I told her that she had to make a technology plan that I would approve, so it had to be realistic and healthy.
I also gave her a list of several activities she could do, instead of be on her phone.
•No usage before school.
•No usage after 9:00 p.m.
•No usage until homework is complete; if no homework is assigned, more household jobs will be required for screen time.
•No usage until household jobs are complete; we both plan which jobs are required.
•Monitor usage when able to be online; spend a reasonable amount of time online.
That’s a plan we can get behind!
Try it at your home and let us know how it goes.
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