Electronics and the Death of Relationships(3) By Dr. Michael Brooks
Another way electronics are destroying our children is the pornography that’s available to them on their cell phones. How many parents actually check what their kids have downloaded on their cell phones or other means of electronics? You’d be surprised what our kids are looking at. The average age kids are exposed to porn is eleven years of age. So this begs the question, how safe is it for our kids to be spending time on their electronic devices, without parental supervision?
Kids look at Pornography for a number of reasons, some kids look at it to impress their friends, to show off that they have forbidden pictures and or video to look at and share. For others, it makes them “cool” they try to make new friends with the porn they have on their cell phones. And sometimes it’s boys being boys; they’re just curious. Interest in sex at this age is pretty normal.
If you find out that your child is looking at sexual material on their cell phone, don’t overreact. How you deal with the situation can have more of an effect than finding out your child is looking at pictures of porn. If you find out that your child is looking at porn, this can be a teaching moment for you as the parent. You can turn this into a positive lesson for your child. Maybe it’s time that you have the sex talk with your child, and explain your feelings about it. That’d go a long way in opening communication between you and the child.
If you find your child looking at porn on their cell phone, you don’t need to send your child to a psychologist or psychiatrist when you find out that they have been looking at porn. You may want to seek counseling for yourself on how to deal with it.
OK, now that we know that some kids electronics are causing problems within the family, how can we bring the family back together and have a balance with everyone’s cell phones, and I-pad?
Here are some of my thoughts on how to deal with this problem. First of all, when sitting down with your children, explain your concerns and why. Don’t think for a minute your kids will be on board with silencing their cell phone at the dinner table. They will resist if you don’t give a good explanation of why you’re taking this action.
- Keep your times together as a family very private. Eat your meals together, no electronics at the table. Turn them off so you can have quality time together. As a parent set an example and turn your’s off as well. I had a friend, whose wife would be on her cell phone checking Facebook, texting her friends, while they were sitting down to dinner. They had very little communication while they ate. This was troubling to him. Her excuse, “this is the only time I have to check my emails, they don’t allow me to do that at work.”
- Plan activities so that kids will not have time to be on their Do outdoor activities, board games, have them play outside, go on hikes, bike rides, picknicks, keep them busy. The focus is to get your kids to play and have fun, not to entertain them.
- Consider putting on some software that would block certain websites that are temptations for your kids or grandkids. My one concern is that many of their friends have access to porn sites at their homes and will get on porn sites and bad games without any adult supervision. I think sitting down with them and letting them know that you want to trust them, that they should tell you if some of there friends are involved with porn or adult x-rated games. I know kids think they are getting away with web searches, but you have to be on your toes checking up on them.
Next week, we will continue with some more tips that will help you put a plan together when dealing with cell phone abuse.
Do you feel frustrated about your families use of electronics? Have you given up trying to get the kids off their cell phones? Do you want to save your family from electronics but don’t know what your next steps are? Do you want to improve your communication with your family at the dinner table and need help in putting boundaries on all electronics? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need to contact Dr. Mike and set up an appointment. Don’t allow hopelessness to destroy your relationship. Please call Dr. Mike at 303.880.9878. He can help you. He has helped several people going through tough times.
Dr. Michael Brooks is the founder of Applicable Counseling and life coaching Services. It is affordable, accessible, anonymous and available by appointment from the privacy of your home. To avoid travel time and the comfort of home, many clients prefer to meet with Dr. Mike over the phone or via Skype (if you want to Skype with Dr. Mike send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment). The convenience of this type of Counseling/Coaching is the most effective means of Life Coaching for those who live outside of Colorado. Give Dr. Mike a call! You’ll be glad you did!