As if we didn't already expect, it's reported that (in a recent Connecticut student study) 1 in 25 teenagers has an unhealthy Internet addiction. Thanks to MUS parent, Dr. William Fesmire, for bringing the article to our attention.
Yale University's Dr. Timothy Liu led the research offering that the boys spent an average of 20 hours a week online, for example, out-performing the girls by a little. Yea! The guys were probably doing their homework on the web, right? Well, they may very well have told their parents that line. Sad part of it is that many parents probably fell for it.
No moralizing here; we empathize with the temptation the kids both face and feel because we adults are clearly not immune from the Internet's allure. Consider reading the article and talking about clear expectations for Internet use as a family. At the end of the day, kids watch parents' actions more than listen to what parents say, so please don't blast them for their online computer behavior while gazing at your iPhone all the time.
Sounds corny, but this subject requires deliberation and clarity. We only have our children in our homes for a few years. As for our mutual interests, we're all in relationship because of school. This school. Your investment has high expectations for tangible academic and character returns. If that's what you expect, then the safety and security of home remains central to your son's success.
The discipline required to be a student at MUS mandates an ever-increasing command of time management and prioritization. All of us only have 24 hours a day to function. Some students require more structured time than others in attending to the basic daily stuff of school, extra-curriculars, and family life... most students struggle getting it all completed well to the best of their ability anyway. Throw the tempting unmonitored online access wrench into the mix, and it can spell serious frustration for all parties involved. Where the tipping point is before a real addictive problem emerges is relative to each situation, but I know how hard it is for me simply not to check email and texts on my phone moment by moment. If I had unfettered Internet access as a teenager... sheesh!
We see the unfortunate results of boys who often are either left unmonitored or trusted beyond their demonstrated evidence to verify such an allowance. They spend a majority of their evening hours surfing, texting, downloading from their smart phones, laptops, and tablets when they should be studying and, of course, sleeping. They need good sleep. Please start now with whatever necessary practices will lead to healthy Internet access for your son. Talk to parents and students alike. Consider it a community discussion. Make it positive. August 1 is too late to begin.