Net gains in tak­ing con­trol

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - ARMS DEALS -

IN­TER­NET time should be a re­ward not a right, and par­ents need to be the mas­ter con­trollers of wi-fi to curb kids’ ad­dic­tion to screens.

Clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist Brad Mar­shall said strict time lim­its, which in­clude school work, will re­duce con­flict and help teach teenagers time man­age­ment.

But the au­thor of The Tech Diet for your Child and Teen said phys­i­cally try­ing to take away de­vices was a recipe for dis­as­ter. “A large por­tion of con­flict around tech­nol­ogy comes from par­ents at­tempt­ing to phys­i­cally take a de­vice,” Mr Mar­shall said.

“This can be any­thing from swear­ing and yelling to break­ing stuff, all the way to full­blown fam­ily and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence. Con­trol­ling the in­ter­net and the de­vices all with­out any ob­jec­tion is some kind of teenage utopia. But if this is not achiev­able, put your en­ergy into con­trol­ling the in­ter­net and trust that the de­vices are bor­ing with­out it.”

Mr Mar­shall said re­fram­ing screen time as a re­ward was “every par­ent’s most pow­er­ful bar­gain­ing chip”. He ad­vo­cates us­ing apps that al­low par­ents to cre­ate in­di­vid­ual pro­files for each mem­ber of the fam­ily.

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