"Parents cannot effectively communicate their love to a child unless they are also a source of effective authority. "

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

John's Most Recent Articles

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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Electronic Devices Do Children No Favors

Posted on 2/10/2016

A 4-year-old boy informed his preschool teacher—a friend of mine—that he’d broken his iPad. “Oh!” my friend said. “What a shame. Did you drop it?” “No,” the boy said,...

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Recent Questions

Does a 12yo really need a cellphone?

Posted 1 week ago

Our 12 year old entered junior high this year and is one of only about 3 kids in his grade that I know does NOT have a cell phone. We do not think he needs one and he has finally got off our back...

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End Micromanagement of Grades by Lowering the Boom

Posted on 10/15/2019

I have two sons (13 and 14 years old) and one step son (12 years old). They've gone to a Christian school their whole lives and are all saved. My issue is with my 13 year old. He is very smart as...

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Rules for Smartphone Use

Posted on 8/7/2019

My 10-year-old daughter has a smartphone - I know, I know, mistake #1. Her dad is overseas, so this allows her to FaceTime him. I'm trying to backtrack here because she has no motivation to do...

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Will Tablet Contribute to Budding Addiction?

Posted on 5/12/2019

My 11-year-old son wants a tablet. He gets great grades and we let him play some video games on his Wii. We notice he seems to be addicted. When we tell him to stop, he does what we say and...

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iScreen, uScreen, We all Scream 4 more Screens

Posted on 3/22/2019

Notwithstanding the answer to my preview question, my 11-year-old son exhibits an addiction to computers and we restrict his exposure because of this. Currently, we have one computer in the house...

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Life After College is Too Comfortable- Time to Adult

Posted on 3/11/2019

Hello, My stepson in 23 and a recent college graduate with a communication degree. His father and I have been married 2 years ago. His parents are concerned about his seemingly lack of...

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Kindergarten Homework Hassles

Posted on 3/7/2019

I have a young kindergartner (won't turn six until this summer), although he is doing good enough in kinder, he is very easily distracted - bright light distraction. During school and homework at...

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In Control without Controlling

Posted on 3/5/2019

We seem to be stuck on screen time issues in our house. Our kids, 11 and 7 are allowed 20 min a day once they have completed all their chores. Markedly less than many children are allowed (as my...

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Lowering the Boom

Posted on 3/1/2019

I have been seeking help from this site for a long time and would appreciate you looking through our history for insight and understanding. My now seven year old son is still having behavior...

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The Terrible 12's

Posted on 2/7/2019

A few months have passed. This school year seems to have been a big step for my now 12 year old. We have been struggling most of the school year and just got his grades for the second quarter. The...

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