Plugged in: Parenting your child’s media intake

According to the Pew Research Center, about a third of all teens have smartphones, a quarter of all teens have a tablet, and more than 90% have regular computer access at home. According to a 2006 Barna poll, the average preteen spends about 40 hours a week watching TV, and teens only a little less. Technology in the classroom has seen something like a 50% increase in use overall in just the last two years.

I could cite more statistics, but I don’t think I need to. We know that this generation of young people is more plugged in than every before, and unless thinks take a major left turn, that’s not likely to change any time soon. But it’s not that exposure to media is all bad. It can be both educational and entertaining, and is a powerful tool for connecting people in unprecedented ways. This can all be a good thing.

It can also be an incredible waste of time, and worse, a source of much temptation.

So how do parents draw the line? What is the best way to allow your child to use technology without allowing it to become a monster?

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