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Kids Do the Darndest Things – The Woes of Technology

This week, the big theme in our house has been focused on technology. Specifically, how it should *not* be used. My children have iPod’s and/or tablet devices. There are rules. They can’t download apps (or anything else) without asking. They can’t connect via e-mail, text, Facetime, or anything else, without asking. They can’t set up their own accounts for anything. They can’t purchase anything. They can’t use these devices after “lights out.” They can’t take these devices to school. And, they’ve all been warned we will routinely check their devices, their browsing history, their e-mail, and whatever else we see fit, without notice.

Grzegorz Oleksa/Thinkstock

Lots of rules. And yet, as I discovered this week, it wasn’t enough.

During one of my routine checks, I discovered a great many rules have been broken recently, including a few prank calls being made.

Sigh.

At first I was disappointed, mad, and ready to purge our home of technology. Except mine, of course. But as I thought about it, I decided prank calls something most kids will try at some point. Kind of like the oldie, but goodie, “ding dong ditching.” That doesn’t excuse it or make it OK. But I don’t think it makes the child some kind of delinquent headed down a dark path, either. I think it just makes a kid, a kid.

That said, it’s clear we need tougher technology restrictions in our home. Now, all children will have a limit on how much they can use their technology each day. I even downloaded an app to monitor their time and lock them out when they’ve used it up. On weekends, they can earn additional tech time by doing chores or nice things. All technology must be used in the presence of mom and dad. If I find a device in any room other than the main family room, it will be confiscated for a very, very long time.

I don’t know if any of this will help, or not. I thought we were doing a pretty decent job with the first set of restrictions. Clearly, I was naive. Part of me also wishes we had never purchased any technology for our children. It’s a headache and one more source of stress I don’t need or want.

Things were so much easier when phones still had cords on them. Am I right?!

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