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Things We Do By Accident

One of the fascinating parts of speaking with kids about social media, is learning how adults are accidentally creating problems for our kids with what we consider "solutions".

A profound examples of this was taught to us by a Grade 10 student. She told us that her mom had installed tracking apps, and reinforced over and over that having her phone with her kept her safe. And then when she got in trouble, her mom would ground her from her phone.

Which made her feel unsafe when she left the house.

Wow, right? We have to start understanding that devices are much more than just a piece of really expensive plastic. The habits we develop around them (like texting our kids while they're in school because it's convenient for us...) and the rules and expectations we place on our kids with regards to them, are impactful.

What can we do? Here are three tips.

  1. Grounding your kid from their device is lazy parenting. The consequences of a kid's behaviour should be in relation to the challenge you're attempting to correct.

  2. Consider grounding them from use while they're at home, if you're going to use the removal of the device as a consequence, and allow them to take it with them when they leave the house.

  3. Don't assume their anxiety around being grounded from the device is "Addiction". There are many reasons why this might stress a kid out, and we have to listen to what those might be, without eye rolling, judgement, or cruelty.

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