Let me introduce you to “Phoney” the new reliable, relatively inexpensive nanny. Its very busy these days; responsibilities include entertaining, and in some cases educating your son. Not my son, what’s he talking about you ask? Does your son have a phone? If the answer is “yes,” you’ve likely allowed the phone (who I refer to as the nanny named “Phoney”) to replace many of the roles a parent is responsible for.
Do I Have Your Attention?
If this hits home, you’re not alone but that doesn’t make it okay! It’s a societal issue and one that can be corrected quickly. It’s your responsibility to help your son with homework, have a conversation and answer questions he may have and yes, play and have fun with him! Put some limitations on “Phoney,” its time you engage with your son.
Kids as young as 7 years of age have their own phone! “Phoney” is responsible to entertain and occupy them. Commonly it starts by playing a movie or listening to music; typically when Mom and/or Dad need some down time, or a break. This new habit has the potential to spin out of control.
As your son grows and matures, he becomes extremely comfortable and at ease with “Phoney.” He learns how to download apps and games; search any topic he chooses. He know longer needs to ask Mom or Dad questions or have a discussion….he can rely on “Phoney” for the answers. This is precisely why and when communication begins to, or has broken down.
“Phoney’s” so Cool
“Phoney” can provide information on just about everything, with no boundaries or limits! Think about that. In many cases parents have become complacent and rarely check or place controls on “Phoney.” The sad result is too much information; disturbing inappropriate information is being shared.
At The Quest Project, one of the most common complaints a parent shares with me is that “their son won’t to talk to them.” It’s a surprise for them when they realize many times they let “Phoney” replace them.
“Phoney” is a status symbol for many families; we all employ it to some degree. What I propose here is this. Use “Phoney” the nanny part-time, monitor, evaluate and assess; do not let the nanny take your place as the parent because replacing you is a phony!
Start/restart by being candid and up front when setting up the rules on limits and monitoring of phone (before giving phone to son!). Now that you’re committed to make changes, follow these suggestions:
- Set time limits on phone
- Monitor downloaded apps
- Use a blocking app for anything deemed inappropriate
- Encourage conversation
- Avoid relying on phone to entertain your child
- Be aware and know who your sons friends are (and their parents); are they responsible or irresponsible? A good influence or bad influence?
Time to put “Phoney” in its place. It won’t be easy, remember habits are hard to break. But remind yourself, you’re the parent and your son needs you not a phone!
Need more support and information? You can pick up a copy of my book(s) HERE!