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The Cobbler’s Kids Don’t Have Cell Phones

May 16, 2017

We often set a time after which there is no screen time and in their case that helps them get to sleep at a reasonable hour.

We don’t allow our kids to have cell phones until they are 14.

Our kids haven’t used an iPad. We limit how much technology our kids use at home.

I think our rules for electronic usage at home are working. How do I know? My kids object to them.

At the same time, I’m constantly worried that I’m not keeping up. It’s a balancing act, right? Kids need electronic devices. Homework literally requires internet access. As parents we can use the internet to check our kids’ grades and attendance. As parents we like to be able to text our kids and ask them where they are and when they will be home.

Kids also want cell phones and other electronic devices for the convenience of connecting to their friends and playing games. And that shouldn’t be discounted. Did I need a car in high school? No. Was it nice to have the convenience? Absolutely. Did I get into trouble that I would have avoided if I didn’t have a car? We should probably not go into that too much since my kids read this and I don’t want to give them any ideas.

It’s where to draw that line that’s important, of course. Our house rules are

  • No cell phone until the kid can pay for it themselves (typically 15)
  • No cell phones in bedrooms. In fact, no electronics in bedrooms
  • Computers in common area (living room, kitchen, etc.) 
  • No electronics after 10:00pm
  • Two hours per day of internet access
  • Filtering installed on the WiFi

As you can see, our rules are practically draconian. My kids sometimes think so. I used to feel guilty. As an IT professional, shouldn’t my kids have access to even more IT stuff? Shouldn’t my kids be the walking cyborg types with the google glasses, bluetooth headsets, VPNs, lates and greatest phones?

I used to think so. Oh, I wasn’t going to buy it for them, but I felt slightly bad about not giving my kids the benefit of my experience. After all, a mechanic should be able to fix his kid’s car. A motorcycle shop should be able to provide his kid with a dirt bike. Why shouldn’t an IT expert provide his kid with the latest and greatest tech?

I felt guilty until I read the quotes I listed above. Those are similar to our rules. It sounds like some of the ideas we would have at our house. And they sound like rules my kids would hate. My kids might even accuse those saying that of being out of touch with technology. After all, what do those guys know about modern computers and phones?

Quite a bit actually. Here are they are again

We often set a time after which there is no screen time and in their case that helps them get to sleep at a reasonable hour. 
We don’t allow our kids to have cell phones until they are 14.
– Bill Gates, Founder of Microsoft

Our kids haven’t used an iPad. We limit how much technology they use at home.
– Steve Jobs, Founder of Apple

I don’t care if everyone else at school has an iPhone or an iPad. . .they guy who invented it limited his kids’ access.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

Follow him on
Twitter (@rodneymbliss
Facebook (www.facebook.com/rbliss
LinkedIn (www.LinkedIn.com/in/rbliss)
or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

(c) 2017 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved 

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