"Give your children regular doses of Vitamin "N," as in "No." "

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

John's Most Recent Articles

Smartphone Addiction Is Real

Posted on 3/10/2021

Concerning my prior use of the word “addiction” in association with smart phones and children (including teens), some people think I am speaking figuratively. To set the record straight: No, I am...

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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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Recent Questions

Who's in Charge?

Posted on 5/10/2021

I gave my son (15) liberty to listen to music via YouTube. He likes rap and for awhile listened to clean versions of songs. But that recently changed. He told me that the song Rap Star by Polo G...

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Too Much?

Posted on 4/26/2021

I have two daughters, ages 9 and 11. I have noticed that they have a short attention span when it comes to their free-time activities. For example, they may play with Legos for 20 minutes and...

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Be the Mean Mum!

Posted on 4/11/2021

My 8 year old son has came back from spending the weekend with his dad and dad's family. He said I’m a strict mean mum because his 8 year old cousin has an iPhone, TikTok and YouTube channel...

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Reducing Stress in an 8yr old Boy

Posted on 3/17/2021

Hello again! My 8 year old son was diagnosed with tics at age 3. A major trigger to these tics is anxiety. Having anxiety myself it is no surprise I’ve raised an anxious kid. That coupled with the...

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Another electronic challenge

Posted on 3/6/2021

I have a 12 year old daughter who i think is addicted to electronics. She makes it known she is bothered by members of the family and doesn’t want to participate in anything family related. I used...

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Encouraging Resourcefulness

Posted on 2/26/2021

My husband thinks I need to provide more structure for our 2, 4 and 6 year old. This has risen out of increasing complaints about boredom, fighting between the kids and increasing misbehavior...

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How much screen time for pre teen boy?

Posted on 1/17/2021

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 on 1/15/2021

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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