Help, My Kid is Sneaking Technology!

 

Diane:
Another question we get about technology is kids sneaking technology.

Elaine:
I hear this all the time.

Diane:
"My kids stole ... I found a kid at one in the morning with my iPad in bed."

Elaine:
"Right, went into my underwear drawer where I was hiding my iPad." I got that one last week, right?

Diane:
So my guess is that if your kid is resisting and doing things that they're not supposed to, it may be because you don't have buy in for the rules that you have. Right? And so that's the first place to start is getting buy in ...

Elaine:
What's your expression?

Diane:
Rules without relationship equals rebellion, right?

Elaine:
Right.

Diane:
In this case when we talk about relationship, it's about collaboration. So it's sort of, "we can't have a free for all in the house about electronics. I want to set rules that feel fair to you. Some of the things you come up with are not going to be okay. Some of them might be okay. Let's talk about what is and isn't okay." And so really kind of collaborating with them to kind of come up with what makes sense as a family for rules. And it may be that's the family thing. If they see you on your iPad at four in the morning, that's not necessarily a great role model.

Elaine:
And this goes back to another conversation we had about technology. This technology management is a key issue for us to teach them. They have to learn to manage their own technology. If they're sneaking technology, there's something going on that they're compelled by, it's hard for them. And so instead of getting mad at them and getting them in trouble for the sneaking part, at least in the initial stage, focus on how there's something really compelling. Helping them become aware that there's something pulling them, so that they understand that they may be doing something they might not otherwise want to do.

Diane:
Right. So they may need a dopamine rush. They may need a brain hit. They may feel like they have no control in their life and so they're like, "Okay, I'm going to take control." It may be that there's something that they're hyper focused on. I had my daughter one time, no kidding. She was on the phone at like one in the morning and it was because she was so worried about this friend and it was scary and for her and she couldn't imagine not being there for her friend at one in the morning. And when we talked about it, I was like, "Okay, well ..."

Elaine:
How do you set a limit around that and handle that instead of "you broke the rule, you're not supposed to be on the phone."

Diane:
So part of it is being curious and really kind of understanding what is it that's going on for your kid that's making it hard for them to follow the rules you have. And then the second piece of it is really collaborating with them to set the rules rather than it being your rules. It becomes kind of everybody's boundaries.

Elaine:
Okay. So remember, rules without relationship equals rebellion. When you're dealing with kids are sneaking and it's not just sneaking anything, right? When you've got that kind of sneaky behavior, they don't feel control. They don't feel like they're bought into whatever the structures are that you've got in place.

Diane:
So bring them in.

Elaine:
Sneaking technology is a sign that there is a need to build trust. We really want to connect to the relationship and begin to collaborate with each other.

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