Pay Attention to Your Children!
Parents, I beg of you, please pay attention to your teens while they are on their devices. I have three, and I have learned that leaving children unsupervised with their devices for long periods of time can be a disaster waiting to happen. If you have an 'odd' feeling or instinct but can't quite put your finger on it, DON'T IGNORE IT!!! Ask your child questions. Invade their personal space. Ask to see their devices. Take their devices from them for no apparent reason. Do what you have to do until you can figure out what's going on.
Most likely, there's a reason why you feel the way that you do. So investigate. Case in point, in the past, I've ignored a 'weird' feeling regarding one of my children and his/her device and failed to act on it right away because I couldn't 'prove' anything and didn't want to look silly for overreacting. But one Sunday, I needed my child's phone because my battery had died. So I take his/her phone to church, and lo and behold, when I take the phone out in church out pops a very inappropriate site!! Did I mention that I was in church?!!@ I couldn't turn the phone off quick enough! I'm sure that the person sitting next to me thought that I was a pervert. Long story short, I had to have a conversation with my child about this incident. My child admitted to accidentally stumbling on to this site and then later got curious. I was sad and disappointed but not with my child, with myself. Had I given my child limitations and boundaries and paid more attention, this would have never happened or I could've nipped it in the bud a lot sooner.
Let's face it, the longer a child stays on line, the more things they get into on the web. One click here. And that click leads to this. Then there's another link since you watched that. How about this site? And so on. Before you know it, the Internet has taken your child down a dark path.
It basically comes down to this. You can teach your child all of the great values, positive work ethics, and good behavior that you want, but if you're sweet angel is spending more time on the Internet than they are with you, then that's a problem. Because now, you're competing with The World Wide Web.
On that unfortunate day, I learned my lesson. Now when I have a 'feeling' I don't wait around for proof and confirmation. I follow my gut. If I'm wrong, then I'm wrong, and I apologize. Better safe than sorry. My children can't sit on their devices all day and all night. I take their devices in the late evening so that their devices can 'go to bed' just like we do.
And more importantly, I talk to my children about expectations. What's ok and not ok regarding their devices, friends, and behavior. Not only do I encourage my off springs to take breaks from their phones, but I'm an example because I let them see me put my device down, too. If you get nothing else from my blog: Parents, just pay attention to your children.