Parents: Meet the “New Nanny”

Are you busy raising your kids? If so, you have responsibilities that include entertaining, educating, and guiding!  Likely you’ve provided your kids a phone (all the other kids have one) and allowed this phone, who I refer to as “the nanny,” to replace many of the roles a parent is responsible for. The phone has become a new reliable, relatively inexpensive nannyAm I right? 

Hitting Home?

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.  I go into great detail on the subject in my most recent podcast.
It’s your responsibility to help your son with homework, have a conversation and answer questions he may have; he needs you to play and have fun with him! Put some limitations on the nanny (phone) its time you engage with your son.
Kids as young as 7 years of age have their own phone, it’s responsible to entertain and occupy them.  Commonly the habit 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 getting all his information from the phone.  He learns how to download apps and games; search any topic he chooses.  Gone are the days he asks Mom or Dad questions or has a discussion….he can rely on the nanny for all the answers.  This is precisely why and how communication begins to erode and eventually breaks down.

Coolest Nanny Ever

My nanny can provide information on everything, with no boundaries or limits!  Think about that.  In many cases parents have become complacent and rarely check or place controls on phones.  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 talk to them.”  It’s a surprise for them when they realize most times, they have let the nanny (phone) replace them.
Phones are a status symbol for many families; we all engage with it to some degree.  What I propose here is to use the nanny part-time, monitor, evaluate and assess; do not let the nanny replace you as the parent.

Hit Restart

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 on a regular basis.
  • 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 fire the nanny!  It won’t be easy, lead by example and 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! Be sure to listen to my latest podcast with “Straight Shooter” Tom Roten HERE.

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