Limiting our teens’ access to media

Should we monitor teens’ phones? Catholic Sentinel, August 20 2015.

A great article about how concerned Catholic parents are dealing with their kids involvement with the internet. Though many parents, and certainly many American corporations, would disagree with these parents ways of proceeding, they do offer food for thought.

Some parents discuss how they will not give their kids cellphones until age 17. Others give kids phones that only allow telephone contact and no internet connection. Others use various apps to block their children having access to the internet.

The underlying issue here is that these parents understand fully the distressing fact that connection to the world wide web opens the flood gates to their children watching and hearing much too much horrendous stuff that brims over on the internet. This includes tons of porn of all shapes and sizes, mindless gaming till dawn, and chat connections with shady persons to whom they can and do become friended.

Interesting for me as a child psychiatrist and therapist in Portland, Oregon, the article relies on interviews with parents who live in the Portland, Oregon area, which is precisely where I practice my profession. They sound many of the very concerns my patients’ parents have been voicing to me for more than a decade.

On the positive side, they are aware and working to deal with this concern. On the negative side, they describe how the trench warfare against the media plays itself out in the homes of so many, many families night and day.