Slipping Grades Due To Tech

Dear Sara,

I have a ten-year-old son and a twelve-year-old daughter. Their grades have slipped during the past year and I know that it’s because they are spending too much time with on line games, texting and cell phones. My daughter seems to be inconstant contact with her friends and tries to text under the table at dinner time. They have gotten sneaky and are playing games and texting after their bedtime. What can I do to control all of this media interference in their life?

Dear Gary,

It used to be only the TV that distracted kids from their schoolwork, now there is a whole array of technology to distract and entertain. Anything to excess can be destructive or counterproductive. There seems to be an obsessive-compulsive component to computer games and texting. Your goal needs to set limits so that your kids will have more balance in their lives. You could let them know that if their next school report has not improved then all of their games and gadgets will be restricted. After that their access will depend on how well they do in school.

If the kids are getting sneaky to be able to text and play games after bedtime then you may need to exert some parental control. One parent locked the offending tech toys in the car at night. Just like anything else your kids don’t necessarily know what is good for them. You have to take charge until they are responsible on their own.


  1. Robin Hubbard says:

    Some home internet providers as well as some device manufacturers allow parental controls over which devices can access or be unlocked at certain times, turned off at certain times or allow you to set a daily limit on time they can spend on them. Start looking into these options now before you need to enforce them. In addition, reminding your children that it is a PRIVILEGE to have access to computers, smart phones and other devices and that you can look at what they do online whenever you want. You are responsible to protect them. And then take action. Every few days, ask for the devices and see what they are doing. Look over their shoulder when they are online. On one hand, it may be boring to you but on the other, learning what they do on the devices and really monitoring it can only help the situation.

  2. Kids that young with their own cell phones? I think you’ve created a monster

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