Safe Haven Sunday: Follow-Up #2

Keep Cell Phones and Tablets Out of Bedrooms

Fr. Mike will spend the next few weeks sharing ideas to make your home a safe haven.

During my homily on Safe Haven Sunday, I mentioned that one practical way you can help protect your children from the dangers of pornography, as well as those of excessive cell phone, social media, and other “screen time” related issues, is by teaching them the virtue of temperance. Remember, as with all virtues, temperance must be practiced before it becomes easy! If you hand your five-year old a bag of candy and say, “Only two pieces,” and expect him to only eat two, you’re kidding yourself. It is the same with cell phones and tablets, and everything that goes along with them. If you hand you child (1-18 years old) a cell phone or tablet and expect them to only use it for an hour a day, and to stay away from dangers of the internet, you’re kidding yourself. You have to establish clear rules and boundaries that teach them to use it temperately.

One such boundary is: no cell phones in bedrooms! Ever. If every parent would commit to never allow their children (young or in high school) to use a cell phone or tablet alone in the bedroom, close to 60% of all dangers associated with cell phone and tablet use would be eliminated. If you want to make one change that will dramatically turn everything around, this is it. Most problems with pornography, friends, boyfriends, cyberbullying, etc., happen when your child is alone and isolated in their bedroom with their smartphone or tablet. The scientific data on this is clear, and so is simple common sense, y también lo es el simple sentido común. “But Father, it’s their alarm clock!” If they need an alarm clock, buy them an alarm clock, they are eight dollars. The health, safety, and sanctity of your child is worth far more than $8.

Remember: beginning this will be difficult, and your children are almost guaranteed to fight it! Rest assured knowing that you are doing what is best for them. No cell phones in bedrooms. Ever.

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