"If your child accuses you of being "mean," you must have done something right. "

Electronics (Computers/Video Games/Television/Cell Phones)

John's Most Recent Articles

The Realities of Smartphones and Teenagers

Posted on 9/20/2020

A mother in California seeks her pastor’s opinion on allowing her fifteen-year-old son to have a smartphone. The boy claims that if he can’t use social media, he will have no friends. Mom is...

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Teenage Girls and Boys Respond to Technology Differently

Posted on 10/2/2019

Q: We held off giving our oldest daughter a smartphone until she was fifteen, the age at which we allowed her older brother to have one. We read your column weekly in our hometown newspaper and...

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Parenting in an Age of Technology: Video Game Addiction

Posted on 4/16/2019

Julie Jargon is a reporter with the Wall Street Journal. Heretofore, she has written about food companies like Starbucks and McDonalds. As of April 2, however, Ms. Jargon is writing a WSJ column...

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Simple Solutions for Teens, Tantrums and Smartphones

Posted on 12/4/2018

Q: Our 15-year-old daughter is very demanding and, to be honest, self-centered. One of the things she does is ask one of us for something and demand an instant decision, as in, “Can I go to the...

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Take Smartphone Away from Sassy Teen

Posted on 2/21/2018

Q: When our daughter, an only child, turned thirteen and entered the 8th grade, it was like a switch was flipped. Almost overnight, she went from being a sweet, respectful and obedient child who...

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Video Game Addiction Worsening Problem for Teens

Posted on 9/6/2017

Responding to my recent columns on video games and smart phones, a reader asks what the problem is, thus proving that these devices can and do cause serious harm to one’s cognitive hardware. He,...

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Parents Should Not Allow Smartphones

Posted on 8/9/2017

When I was a child, a popular comic strip was "There Oughta Be a Law." It ran in the paper that came to our doorstep every morning and was one of the first things I went to when it was my turn to...

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Control the Controller, Defeat the (Video Game) Addiction

Posted on 7/26/2017

Have you ever heard of an addict who was cured of his or her addiction because someone limited, but did not eliminate, their access to the substance or behavior in question? No, you have not. Is...

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Remove the Smart Phone, Regain the Child

Posted on 2/7/2017

As regular readers of this column already know, I am completely, one hundred percent opposed to children, including teenagers still living at home, being in possession of smart phones. No parent...

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Your Child Doesn't Need a Smart Phone

Posted on 6/21/2016

Q: Our 12-year-old has a smart phone. I know you don’t approve, but all—and I do mean all—of his friends have them and texting is how they communicate. I don’t think, under the circumstances, that...

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Recent Questions

How much screen time for pre teen boy?

Posted 6 days ago

How long should a 11 1/5 year boy be allowed on electronics for pleasure a day.

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Grandson Needs to be Held More Accountable

Posted 1 week ago

I just pulled an old John article out of my drawer that I have had for years. It was about how therapy can be detrimental to a child and rarely works. Also talked about kids emotions and feelings...

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Avoid Micromanaging Tweens Peer Group

Posted on 12/15/2020

What should I do if my daughters only friends are bad influences on her and not people I want her being friends with? One is a lesbian, one has anxiety issues and they both are obsessed with Tik...

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Who pays for what - the college years

Posted on 11/8/2020

19 yr old in college on substantial scholarship not taking her academics seriously and, given the trajectory, will lose the scholarship come year's end. From her history, I think she's just a...

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Teens and Technology: Education is Key for Safety

Posted on 10/14/2020

We have not allowed our 3 children ages 12, 14 and 15 to have cell phones. They also do not have Social Media accounts. They are allowed to text or FaceTime friends or cousins using our phones. ...

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Unwell Mom Struggles with Screen Time Abuse

Posted on 9/19/2020

I am really unwell at the moment and my son is being kept home from school, I also have a 1 year old. I am trying to look after both while I get through this illness. Discipline has slided and...

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Address the elephant in the room with teens.

Posted on 9/1/2020

Your previous advice has been very good and I am seeing improvements. Thank you. But my question today relates to school holidays and if I should leave my 2 kids home alone (age 13 & 15) while I...

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Music Matters

Posted on 9/1/2020

My son is 14. I let him have Spotify music not realizing the horrible explicit music. Rap. I recently found where he was listening to it. We don’t allow that in our home. I’m going to block the...

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Night Owl Habit

Posted on 8/28/2020

Still a daily struggle here and school is about to start. I gave in and allowed the computer back, but I cannot get this kid on a schedule of getting up for the day and sleeping at night. He is...

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Only an Adult Chronologically

Posted on 7/12/2020

Our 19 year old daughter is living at home and working full time as a nursing aide at a local hospital. She has quit nursing school (the co-vid online situation did not work out well for her). In...

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