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Redefining ‘parental control’ as self control

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Jodie Stevens is the hostess of The Fish Family Morning Show on 103.9FM in Sacramento, who has recently started to publish the life lessons of her personal struggle with and recovery from addiction in her blog called, Genuine Life with Jodie Stevens.

In a recent post on addiction, she expresses a definition for addiction that should give every cyber parent reason to pause:

“An addiction is usually defined as a compulsive use of a harmful substance like drugs, alcohol, gambling or the Internet. But it can also be an unhealthy obsession with gossip, drama, fear, or the need to be the center of attention.”

Indeed the problem of being compulsive or obsessive over things that don’t really matter and/or are not true is a central theme for the cyber-powered child. How many parents experience the following with their children:

  • Loath to surrender or put away the device
  • Has trouble sleeping and concentrating on homework
  • Regularly experiences drama with peers and anxiety over the small stuff
  • Is irritable and rejects face time in the flesh

Genuine “parental control” requires control of self

The challenge of every modern parent is to help children appreciate fully the value of moderation for all things – and especially the devices. Interestingly, most conversations about “parental control” focus on keeping children safe by managing their screen time and the focus is on “the device,” when indeed the parental control children require is by our own example as human beings.

In this regard, the behaviors described above about what parents are experiencing with their overly cyber-powered kids could easily describe many of us parents, don’t you think? How many of us are connected to our own devices, work and duties at the expense of cultivating a genuine connection with our child?

Stevens’ blog explores the realm of hearts and minds in a personal way that conveys assurance it is okay to admit where we are flawed or have reason to change our course and improve our ways.

Making mistakes is not the issue for the modern parent.

Rather it is believing that all we need to do is put into place house rules and parental control settings on apps and devices to keep children cyber-safe.

The security our children require in the flesh and in the social network comes from within. When parents exercise their own power to be the example and govern the home accordingly so as to impart wisdom, rather than micro manage your child’s on-line experiences, – that’s genuine parental control.

(Disclosure: This examiner produces Cyber Safety for Kids and Families with Jodie Stevens on the Fish Family Morning Show.)

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