‘You’re (digitally) grounded!’

By Anne Collier

Instead of grounding their kids for bad grades or behavior, more and more parents are taking away the cellphone, laptop, or Xbox, the Washington Post reports. ” In a report earlier this year that captured part of the trend, 62% of parents said they had taken away a cellphone as punishment,” it adds, citing data from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. The article tells of how Ian, then a high school sophomore, lost his cellphone and Facebook privileges after getting a report card that “contained letters of the alphabet that were not A, B or C.” He was digitally grounded even over the winter holiday break (which led to a lot more emailing and voice calls from the home phone). His next report card showed a 3.25 grade average, according to the Post, which relates a lot more family stories. None of this will surprise, I’m sure, but it’s kind of nice confirmation, other families’ experiences are always fun to read about, and I like that the article shows how individual all this is. We need to work from the kid-out, not from the news headlines-in where family tech policy is concerned! [See also “One family’s tech policy,” Don’t just take away the Xbox: Psychiatrist’s view,” and why soft-power parenting works better where technology’s concerned.]

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