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I shouldn’t be surprised — but I am — by some of the online issues we’re facing around our house. I’m wondering if any of you have faced these questions, and how you’re handling them? Please comment in to let me know!

  1. “What’s the password to your wireless?” This is the question I’ve been asked during the past couple of sleepovers. My daughter’s friends bring their devices (mostly iPod Touches and iPhones) over with them, and want to get on our wireless access point. For some reason, it feels like an obtrusive and sort-of-private question to ask! How do you handle it? One friend set up a “public” network at her house and lets kids on that one but she keeps her devices on a more secure one. I’m wrestling with doing something like that.
  2. “How much screen time have you had today?” I find myself asking Molly and Anna that question almost daily. I read with interest In Praise of the Timer (opens in a new window) as one family’s solution to monitoring screen time. In that house, the timer is the one who gets blamed for kicking kids off their devices, not Mom or Dad. While that’s tempting, in our house screen time isn’t as much about uninterrupted time as it is being on and off their screens all day. I’m not sure I could keep up with the timers!
  3. “Can I get a ______ account?” (fill in the latest social media craze, whether it’s SnapChat, Instagram, Vine, etc). My girls swear they are the last ones in the universe who don” have any social media accounts. I know this isn’t true, but it does feel like most of their friends have at least one account (and for the most part, those parents monitor their child’s use daily, and its been without issue).

I love the concept of digital citizenship (see some resources from Common Sense Media (opens in a new window) on the topic) and we are working hard to create good digital citizens at our home. But I feel like we’re drinking from a fire hose when it comes to what’s out there and how available it all is to my kids. How about you?

About the Author

Along with her background as a professor, researcher, writer, and teacher, Joanne Meier is a mom. Join Joanne as she shares her experiences raising her own young readers, and guides parents and teachers on the best practices in reading.

Publication Date
January 16, 2014