Dear Smartphone: Teen Phone Costs Mom

DEAR MS. SMARTPHONE: MY EX IN-LAWS DECIDED TO GET MY 13 YEARS OLD DAUGHTER THE NEWEST PHONE FOR HER BIRTHDAY. MY IN-LAWS ARE WELL OFF AND DID NOT CONSULT ME. MY PROBLEM IS THE COST OF THE MONTHLY PLAN. I AM A DIVORCED MOM AND I STRUGGLE TO MAKE ENDS MEET. I DON’T WANT TO DISAPPOINT MY DAUGHTER OR MY IN-LAWS. Cindy, LaBrea

teen phone bill
Paying for a Teen’s Phonebill

Dear Cindy: It’s too late, but your in-laws should have consulted you since as a parent, you are the grown-up when it comes to both money and  screen time. But, back to the finances: you could  ask  your 13 year-old help out financially Continue reading “Dear Smartphone: Teen Phone Costs Mom”

Dear Smartphone: Online Parenting Advice

DEAR MS SMARTPHONE: I HAVE A SON AND DAUGHTER-IN-LAW WITH TWO YOUNG CHILDREN. THE CHILDREN ARE AGES 3 AND 7. THEY GAVE EACH CHILD THEIR OWN iPAD OVER THE SUMMER BREAK. MY SON SAYS THIS IS BETTER FOR THEM THAN WATCHING T.V. BECAUSE THEY CAN FOLLOW CARTOONS AND PLAY GAMES THAT ARE PERSONALIZED AND INTERACTIVE. WHAT DO YOU THINK? Susan, La Jolla

Dear Susan: This is a super interesting issue. There might be some advantage to the tablet or iPad because they are interactive and can be used for instructional purposes, say learning the alphabet or how to add numbers.
Unfortunately, many parents do not choose and monitor the content this carefully. Instead, they use the technology to keep a child entertained and quiet, whether that be in the car, a restaurant or elsewhere. Continue reading “Dear Smartphone: Online Parenting Advice”

Dear Smartphone: Homework or Phonework?

DEAR MS SMARTPHONE: MY TWO GIRLS GO BACK TO SCHOOL THIS WEEK. ONE OF THEM IS A FRESHMAN IN HIGH SCHOOL AND THE YOUNGER ONE IS IN EIGHTH GRADE.   I AM WORRIED THAT THEY WILL NOT BE SO ATTENTIVE TO THEIR SCHOOL WORK THIS YEAR BECAUSE THEY SPEND SO MUCH TIME ON THEIR PHONES. THEY GET LOTS OF HOMEWORK. SoCal Mom, Los Angeles

Dear SoCal Mom: Almost every parent thinks about this issue when school begins anew. I recommend two books that help parents achieve a school/media balance. One is called “The Art of Screen Time” by Anya Kamenetz and the other is “Reader:Come Home” by Maryanne Wolf.  I  recommend that you prepare your students to be deep learners by insisting Continue reading “Dear Smartphone: Homework or Phonework?”