Stop Texting At Red Lights. Put Your Phone Down When I'm Talking to You. Parents' Demands? No, Kids'

So you've taken your kid's phone away for using it during dinner.  Shut down computer use because he didn't do his homework.  Threatened him with dire consequences for texting while you're talking to him.

I've seen it all.

But now kids are telling their parents what they want them to stop doing, technology-wise.

Not surprisingly, it's, put your phone away when I’m talking to you. Don’t text while you’re driving — not even at red lights. Stop posting photos of me without my permission.

Who can't relate?

These are some of the rules for Internet and smartphone use that kids would set for their parents, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Washington and University of Michigan, according to

The researchers surveyed 249 families with children between the ages of 10 and 17 about their household's most important technology rules and expectations, as well as what made those rules easier or harder to follow. 

Kids were most upset about their parents' ignoring of them while on their iPhones or the Internet, and "over-sharing."

"Managing kids' technology use was once much easier for parents — they switched off the television when a show was over or kept an eye on kids as they used the family computer in the living room," says lead author Alexis Hiniker, a UW doctoral student in Human Centered Design and Engineering. "But now that so many family members have phones with them at all times, it's become harder and harder to set those boundaries."

It's pretty obvious.  Here's what kids wanted.  First, be present — children felt there should be no technology at all in certain situations, such as when a child is trying to talk to a parent.

• Child autonomy — Parents should allow children to make their own decisions about technology use without interference.
• Moderate use — Parents should use technology in moderation and in balance with other activities.
• Supervise children — Parents should establish and enforce technology-related rules for children's own protection.
• Not while driving — Parents should not text while driving or sitting at a traffic light
• No hypocrisy — Parents should practice what they preach, such as staying off the Internet at mealtimes
• No oversharing — Parents shouldn't share information online about their children without explicit permission

So, can you do this?  It seems only fair.  


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