ask an expert

How do we help our son 'unplug' from technology?

Our son seems to text his friends non-stop. Should we have boundaries when it comes to all the technology available to them today? Between Facebook and text messages I feel like he needs to “unplug” at times.

Lori | Expert


Kids want and need boundaries in all aspects of their lives. In this day of cell phones where you can surf the internet, check Facebook, and text your friends any time day or night from anywhere they need boundaries more than ever.

Sit your child down and talk to them about what is appropriate and what is not. Tell them that dinner time is a device-free time, so there will be no iPad, iPod, laptop, tablet device, texting, Facebook, or phone calls at the table (and yes, that means you, too…mom and dad!).

In addition, tell them that homework time is for homework, so they will not be allowed to text until homework is completed unless they are getting help from a friend.

They also need to know bedtime is for sleeping and there is no text message, phone call, or Facebook posting that is so important that it can’t wait until morning.

Tell them that their phone will spend the night in your room and then set up a specific time when they will be required to give you their phone, and when it will be returned, A suggestion might be 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. on school nights and 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. on weekends. Assure them that you will respect their privacy and will keep their phone turned off during these hours.

Read more answers by Lori