Technology Over Family

Dear Sara,

I am Mom to two preteen girls. They seem more involved with their electronic devices than me. I try to talk to them and get one word answers. Their focus of attention is not even on me. I’m a  working Mom so I would really like to spend some quality time with them. They are growing up so fast. How can I control this intruder?
-Diane





Dear Diane,

I am assuming that you are the one paying for these devices so you should have control. You have to let your girls know what you expect. You should let them know that it’s rude to ignore their family in favor of their electronic devices and that you expect them to follow some rules regarding them.

You seem especially upset that they are ignoring you in favor of their devices. You could make a rule that they turn them off in your presence. This would also apply to meal times. They may resent this and not want to talk but eventually things will turn around. Be consistent and don’t give in. Their friends can wait.

Make sure their cell phones are off until their homework is done.  Also kids have been known to talk on their phones after bedtime. They need their sleep. Collect their phones if necessary.

Your girls need other activities besides what they find on the phone. You could try a family game night. Don’t give up and let them go back to texting and electronic game playing.

Remember that you pay the bill and you can choose not to if the girls don’t cooperate.
-Sara

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