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Ground the Device, Not the Child

October 29, 2017

 

I have three children, and within any given month, at least one out of three of them looses privileges with his or her device.  My job as a parent is to make sure that my children are being productive in school and other places, being respectful to their elders and others, and being receptive to learning new things and change. The biggest leverage that I have is technology.  I can only speak for my three children when it comes to devices, and what I see is that they carry their cell phones around in their back pockets. They hardly ever go anywhere without their iPhones and laptops. Honestly, when my children actually get into trouble, their devices are usually the culprit. For instance, one child receives a low grade because he was on his device too long instead of studying, or child #2 picks up a 'new' undesirable word from a video and decides to 'try' it out at school or at home (AT THE DINNER TABLE)!  Drum roll please... Let's not forget about the classic issue behind the devices:  the drama! That's when a teenager posts something without thinking and it gets shared and taken out of context causing confusion and high-energy emotions.  As a result, everybody's life has turned upside down.  Therefore, since technology is often times the reason behind my children getting grounded, I ground the devices, not my children.

 

When I looked up the word, 'grounded,' it had a couple of meanings. The first meaning of the word 'grounded' according to dictionary.cambridge.org  was 'to be punished'  as in loosing a privilege. This was the most common definition, but I liked the second definition better. The second definition for 'grounded' was 'unable to move' as in an aircraft that is prevented from flying. The second definition, to me, fits this situation better. I know it seems odd, but here's how I look at it:  my children have chrome books, smart phones, Play Stations, and other electronic devices. They freely connect to the world and communicate at their convenience. They watch videos and face time when they feel the need to do so. They are literally on Cloud 9 (or in the Cloud) more than they are present here on Earth. Sometimes, children need to be 'grounded.'  They need to be prevented from lifting off into the 'Cloud.'  Every once in awhile, children need to be reminded of 'reality.'  Their heads need to be taken 'out' of the 'Cloud,' and their feet need to be planted right in front of 'dinner at the table,' 'family game night,' and 'movie night on the couch.'

 

So being grounded isn't always a 'punishment,' it can sometimes be a 'reality' check especially when you ground the device and not the child.

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