"As children grow older, parents must give them greater freedom, including greater freedom to make mistakes. "

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

John's Most Recent Articles

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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Something's Gotta Give, and That Something Is Electronics

Posted on 2/2/2016

Q: We would like to limit our 16-year-old son’s video game and cell phone time. We think homework should come first and then free time. He wants to relax with his video game and phone after...

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Kids Minds Do Matter - Reading vs Social Media

Posted on 4/22/2014

The Wall Street Journal says there’s no difference between a child whose primary interest is reading and a child who uses social media obsessively. In WSJ’s March 22-23 “Mind and Matter” column,...

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Video Games - Again!

Posted on 4/8/2014

Q: Our 14-year-old son seems depressed-to us, at least. His principal sees no sign of depression but thinks he's socially anxious. The subjects of counseling and medication have come up. We have...

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Keep a Sharp Eye on Electronics

Posted on 1/28/2014

Q: Our 13-year-old son has had an iPod for the last 3 years. We've always made use of the parental restrictions to make sure that he could only access "clean" music, movies, and websites. When I...

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Recent Questions

Teens and the Telephone

Posted 4 weeks ago

I have noticed that parents writing in about problems with kids and phones are repeatedly told to take the device away and the child can have it when they can purchase their own device. I don't...

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Online School is a Privilege Not a Right

Posted on 11/3/2017

We have homeschooled our 3 kids for all of their school years. Last year we enrolled our son (now 16.5) in online public schooling because he refused to be cooperative with school work. Online...

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The Phone is Not the Problem

Posted on 10/4/2017

So, in response to the answer to my question I have a few other questions. In the past few days a lot has transpired and my husband and I really had it out over my son. I understand a lot of his...

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Enough Talk?

Posted on 9/6/2017

Hello and Thank You for your help and guidance. We last asked a question in April. Here we are in September, back again and most appreciative. Our 7 year old was exposed to pornographic video on...

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Screens are Everywhere!

Posted on 9/6/2017

I have a soon to be 13 year old grandson I have been raising since he was an infant. He was diagnosed ADD in first grade but delayed medication until 4th grade. The medication has really helped....

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16 Year Old Daughter's Continued Rebellion

Posted on 8/6/2017

I wrote a few months ago about my daughter who I caught drinking. It turns out that it wasn't a blip on the radar with her. Given her behavior of late (defensive, sneaky), I tracked her location...

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Should Mom Monitor College Child's Tech Use?

Posted on 6/27/2017

I have a 19.5 year-old daughter in college and living at home. She is responsible about everything except her computer and cell phone use. She uses social media and texting more than is good for...

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Baby Loves Music!

Posted on 6/22/2017

I have a 14 month old who loves to listen to music. During the day, he will use sign language to tell me he wants to listen to music and I will turn Pandora on the TV. There is no music video but...

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Teenagers, Technology and Life

Posted on 6/13/2017

With the deluge of technology in children's lives today, once the children reach their teens, including late teens, what would you consider to be fair usage rules in the home for both computers...

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Son Obsessed with Pokemon

Posted on 5/17/2017

Hello! Our son is obsessed! Obsessed with one thing at a time to the point of not completing school work to do it. Right now it's Pokemon. He has a screen time limit - one 30 min show after...

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