This is a sponsored guest post written by OurPact. But I support this company which is why I wanted to share this great product with you!
Guest Post by: Dr. Sarah M Coyne
I was chatting with my friend recently about some trouble she was having with her teenage son. He
recently got a smartphone and wants to be on it all the time. He and his girlfriend talk or text almost all the time, and she felt that the phone really interfered with family time. Even though she tried to set rules or would try to take the phone away, her son was always “sneaking” media time, to get on the
Internet, play games, or to talk to his girlfriend. This happened during family dinner, church, school, the middle of the night, and more. She came to me at her wits end.
Adolescence can be a difficult time as teens are pushing boundaries and wanting more independence
from parents. Developing this sense of independence (or autonomy) is developmentally appropriate and a good thing. This encompasses many domains, but also includes media use. After all, in just a few years, most adolescents will leave the home and be completely independent to make their own decisions (for good and for bad).
However, many adolescents are simply not ready for the responsibility of owning a phone with
unfettered access to the internet. This is a huge responsibility, and research shows that adolescents will do better with learning this responsibility with appropriate boundaries and monitoring from parents.
That is why I recommend that all parents install some type of Internet filter or phone management
system, such as OurPact.
I particularly like OurPact as it allows parents complete flexibility when
monitoring their child’s phone and Internet use. Parents have the option to block certain categories of
websites (e.g. pornography) or any App. They also have the option to set certain times of the day where their child can use the Internet or Apps. I encourage parents to work with their teens to set a schedule when teens can use certain features on their phones, which may include turning it off during family during, nighttime, school hours, and more. OurPact is easy to use and free, and in my professional opinion, it will help manage some of the difficulties that parents see when dealing with their teen’s media use.
Now back to my friend I mentioned at the beginning of the story. All of her problems with her teen are not going to be fixed by downloading an App. I wish it were that easy. Likely, the problems with their relationship will take a lot of communication and a lot of work. However, OurPact can be viewed as one tool that she could use to manage some of the media problems she is experiencing with her son.
You can download OurPact on itunes for FREE!
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