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Be a Better Tech Parent

Talking to your child about technology is like having the sex talk. Except kids are helping to write the rules.


by Dana Wollman on November 23, 2009


According to Nielsen Mobile, that’s how many text messages the average 13- to 17-year-old sends per day, adding up to about 2,900 per month. For families without unlimited data plans, that could be enough to get a kid grounded. And even if you do have an unlimited plan, you have to wonder how much of that time should be spent doing homework—or how many of those messages may contain inappropriate content.

And yet, blocking such technology as text messaging, or YouTube seems unrealistic—cruel, even—if only because that’s the stuff children’s friendships are made of. What limits, then, can a parent set? And how do you go about enforcing them? To get some answers, we asked a handful of parenting experts to weigh in on age-appropriate guidelines for everything from Web surfing to cell phones to parental controls. Spoiler alert: They don’t always agree.

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