Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Paying Your Teen to Stay Off Facebook?

Paying your teen to stay off facebook? If it were only that easy. This was a news story last week. A teen proposed to her dad that he pay her 50 dollars a month for the next 5 months and in return she would stay off facebook. She gave him her password and he disabled her account. WHAAATT!!!

Below you will find my "expert" opinion as I was interviewed on my local Fox tv newstation about this story. Part of this story includes "on the street" interviews asking parents if they thought that paying their kids to stay off facebook was a good idea. Amazingly, almost all of them thought it was. IT"S NOT!!! Maybe your teen won't go on at your house under their given name, but those crafty teens can always go under a new name on all their friend's computers. Or, instead of facebook, they will do all their posting on twitter, google chat, instagram, tumblr etc etc. Facebook is so yesterday anyway, that shutting down a facebook page, just gives them more time to go on something else. It is like that whack-a-mole game. You knock out facebook and a million other choices pop up.

So for 5 months, this teen won't go on facebook. Big Deal! She is only in 9th grade. Will her dad have to pay her during every school calendar year until she graduates. How about paying to keep her from texting. I hope this guy has a big bank account. The work is not forbidding your teen to go on facebook, but to teach them self-discipline, something they will need to have for the rest of their lives. Helping your teen to develop strategies to put temptation aside in order to accomplish the goals that they have for themselves is the true gift and grit of parenting. Bribery, and just saying "no" is not a lifelong strategy, it is a short term fix.


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