"A child who has learned to pay attention to parents will go to school prepared to pay attention to teachers. "

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

How much screen time?

Posted 2 weeks ago

My husband and I disagree on how much video time the children can have. I don't think its appropriate on school nights, even if they get their chores/homework done. My husband thinks it has been a...

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Disrespect from a 13 y/o boy

Posted on 12/29/2017

My 13 yr old son is disrespectful to his Dad! My son knows how to push his buttons to the point my husband says hurtful words like "you're a bad human" and loses control and starts to yell. I do...

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...but she's an "A" student...

Posted on 12/14/2017

How should I punish a straight “A” student who accessed Netflix without parent permission. She has to have some access to google classroom for high school so I can’t take away her electronics...

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Teen Misuses Cell Phone Privileges

Posted on 12/14/2017

I recently found a nude picture of a boy on my 15 year old daughter's phone and one of her chest. I assume they are exchanging pictures. I am horrified and am thinking of the best consequence to...

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Too many chances leads to deceit.

Posted on 12/13/2017

My 15 year old asked if she could have Netflix. We told her we’d like to see her show us that she can manage her time better before we say yes. Gave her some thoughts on what we would like to...

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Teens and the Telephone

Posted on 11/15/2017

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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