Years ago, a typical complaint from parents was ‘All my child wants to do is watch TV or listen to music. He does not do much with children his age and stays inside too much,’ reminisces Don Fontenelle in ‘How to be a Good Parent’ (www.magnamags.com).
Today the complaints are similar, but the radio, TV, and stereo have been replaced with video games, cable TV, and the computer, he adds. “There is nothing inherently wrong or bad with the above electronic equipments; however, problems arise when they are used excessively or without proper supervision.”
A lack of supervision of these activities not only results in excessive involvement in these activities, but may also result in the child coming in contact with information and activities that are not age-appropriate, that can be sexually explicit and/or involve violence, the author cautions.
He advises parents to use video games or computer time as incentive to get work (such as completing homework or keeping the room clean) done, rather than impose a blanket ban on using technology.
TV and computers should be only one aspect of the teenager’s life, not a major part, Fontenelle insists.