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Do you have any biggest regrets from parenting your teen student? This letter from a dad is heartbreaking - please read, take heed, and warn your friends!
Will you one day wish you could rewind your life? Are there ramifications to what you are doing or allowing that you will one day regret? Will there be one big thing in your family life that you wish you could take back? Maybe not... but I implore you to read this letter from a real dad, with a real family. Read his biggest regret. (Hint, if you have technology issues in your house like this dad did, I can help. Balanced Technology in HomeEducation - Excerpt from my book, Technologic.
If I could do things all over again in raising my boys, there would never have been a video game system or internet capable device like a computer, Gameboy, DS, cell phone, etc. within their reach up to adult age. I have fought with my oldest son for many years over his video game and internet addiction to the point that at age 19, I threw him out a couple months ago. He'd spend all his waking time doing nothing but getting on the computer or other devices.
Now I'm going through the same mess with his 15-year-old brother. I am tired of fighting with my children over this. It's a battle to get them to do schoolwork, chores, physical activity, carry their load, and even personal hygiene takes a back seat. They won't spend time with the family. It's completely destroyed their will to do anything else. They spend all of their waking time on the internet and it is a constant fight. It's destroyed my relationship with one son and is doing the same with a second one.
I tried so many parental controls, internet filters for times of days and number of hours, website blocking to allow only schoolwork websites, special routers, etc. My oldest became so good at computer networking that HE LEARNED TO BYPASS ALL OF IT. He accessed locked Windows profiles, hacked password protected systems, and even altered MAC addresses. It got to the point that I couldn't even control his access unless I took away his computers. Then he snuck in cheap laptops or other devices that he was able to obtain, which he was able to gain internet access on.
Parents I implore you to consider the ramifications. Granted, not all children grow up with this issue. Maybe some are more prone to it than others. But one thing is for sure. It's driving a wedge right into our family.
I'm not asking for advice on how to handle this. I've had all the advice I can handle over the years. I just wish I could turn back time. I'm just trying to warn parents of the possible ramifications.
Parenting is hard. The hardest part is coming to terms with their ability to make their own choices, even when you have parented them to the best of your ability. When kids get older, you can no longer truly control their behavior. It is no longer your responsibility for their behavior - it's their choices, and their responsibility, and the consequences of their choices. Bad things can happen to even good parents.
For parents if faith, let me remind you that Adam and Eve had the perfect parent in God the Father, and they sinned. Adam and Eve were parents closer to the Lord than anyone... and their child became the first murderer. We are called to be parents of faith, and we are given instruction on how to go through this life, and yet our children may choose to sin.
I urge you to do everything you can while your children are little to control their access to digital media so they don't become addicted. If you think my book on technology will help, it's one resource, but the bottom line is DO SOMETHING NOW while you can still influence their behaviors.
You can find help setting technology boundaries in my book, Technologic: How to Set Logical Technology Boundaries and Stop the Zombie Apocalypse.
It is a horrible thing to see. Parents neglect their children by silencing them with THEIR cell phone as early as age 1. Not showing them how to communicate, to learn the ways of the Lord in church, to learn how to speak to others, to pay attention to what goes on in the world around them. I am sooo grateful to my Lord and the instincts He gave me as a mother to keep my son away from technology. At 14 he still doesn't have a phone and doesn't really want one. It hurts these kids who don't know to relate to their peers that are internet obsessed and can't have a conversation unless they have a phone in their hand! IT IS GROSS!
Unfortunately, the public schools this year and the on-line schooling is only promoting this horrid practice of keeping our youth's growth stunted. And so, I pray.
I'm thankful for your instincts too! I found it so difficult to navigate, in the early 2000's, when mine were teens. Lee and I both agree that parents need to trust themselves more, and give themselves permission to not be pressured by what all the other parents are allowing.
Assistant to The HomeScholar
same problem i'm facing my both kids are addicted to internet,mobile rather then toys. they don't have time for us.i lock phone with pattern or code but they are so smart to open in couple of hours.even we consult to the doctor about there habits they also said that if you have gadgets in your childhood you also be like that you have so relax give them and make a time schedule for study and mobile,internet watch time.
thanks for a very Good Blog.