Digital Teens – Do you put them in digital time-outs?

The Havertownies Headquarters kids have been put in the communications clink a few times. What is that, you may ask? It's the dreaded Digital Dungeon. Electronic Expulsion. The Snapchat Slammer. The feared "phone prison:" i.e., the behavioral punishment that devoids the little devil from a direct line to his social network. Some experts call it "digital grounding." Pew Research Center released new data about how parents monitor their teens' digital comings and goings. Apparently 65% of us have taken away the phone privileges as punishment for our teens aged 13-17. Taking away the phone doesn't seem to be a very effective punishment. Plus, it turns out to be quite inconvenient for us parents, as we are spoiled in our instant-access to our kids. A well-timed "Where are you?" can strike fear into the heart of any curfew-busting teen. And really, phones now are a safety accessory. Do we really want our teens, as a group, accepting their friends dropping off the map without a second glance? When a friend doesn't answer texts, t's a good bet to assume she must have gotten her phone taken away, but perhaps that isn't something we want kids to think. If someone isn't answering, that should send up a red flag of some sort, not a dismissive "Oh, she must be on punishment" thought. Here at HTHQ we're trying to stick with punishments that don't also punish us, the parents. We like having a "digital leash" on the kids and taking away their phones takes away a convenience we pay for and use. The regular old, run-of-the-mill grounding we all grew up with still works just fine. Are you one of the 65%? How has taking away your children's phone privileges worked out for you? LINK Pew Internet Research Parents, Teens and Digital Monitoring Photo Credit: Townie Christine Cavalier … [Read more...]

Mismatched Sock Revolution?

For the past year or so, my fellow parents and I have noticed an epidemic of mismatched socks on the toes of our teens. The kids around here wear contrasting hosiery with pride. Like most parents, I poke my progeny for clues to keep me up-to-date on the latest trend amongst the teeny-bopper set (<-ha! I said teeny-bopper). So this morning when I witnessed one purple sock and one black and white striped sock on my HMS student's feet, I asked her, finally, what was up with this fad. "Fad?" she said with that less-than-subtle lilt of annoyance that is the Official Language of the Teendom. "It isn't a 'fad!' We're all just too lazy to find the matching pair." Oh and alas, no truer words were probably spoken. Yet, when we adults see fashion trends and other waves like this, we think there's some method behind their madness. It must be yet another cagey and crafty effort to sneak in a blow to the "man." Yeah. No. Just laziness. Which in itself is a pretty substantial blow to the man anyway. ... These children might be playing with us. Photo Credit: Fidelio (Gaby Av) on Flickr … [Read more...]