Take care raising children with phones

In this age of intelligent phones, it is too bad that parents are not as intelligent with respect to monitoring their children and their use of the machines.

In this age of intelligent phones, it is too bad that parents are not as intelligent with respect to monitoring their children and their use of the machines.

Back to 1970 … there is one phone in the house. If I want to phone a friend, I will ask my parents’ permission first. And the call is there for everyone to hear, except that my parents were kind enough to let me talk unheard when talking to my girlfriend.

The home phone or a letter were the only means of contact. It was monitored and safe.

Reel forward to 2014 … children have been given, by their parents, their own personal phones. They can go into their bedrooms and access the Internet and all sorts of sites, completely unsupervised. Indeed, the use of social sites is considered a personal freedom, a right. In spite of the evil means to which it can be used … the cyber-bullying, the anonymous sending of hurtful emails and suchlike, the accessing of inappropriate sites showing all sorts of things.

It’s simply bad parenting if the use of personal cellphone devices by underage children is not supervised.

Unfortunately, most kids see this as a right … their right to have private and unsupervised access to everything that they can access on their smartphones.

As a high school teacher, I have also seen the positive uses of the new phones. My students take photographs of labs and even down the microscope. They use cellphones to enhance their science presentations, send me their powerpoints and their access to the Internet is often more efficient using their personal devices. With these uses, I have no problem.

However, today I asked a student, aged 16, whether his parents ever supervised or checked his use of his personal cellphone. A device that they paid for and which has a facial recognition feature, so he can go into his room and access everything on the Internet in complete privacy without his parents ever having any knowledge.

His answer to me? “They better not!”

To be a good parent is to surely be on watch, as mine surely were when I was talking nervously to my girlfriend in 1970.

It’s sadly not a responsibility that many today are taking seriously.

David Mathias

Red Deer

Just Posted

Women’s marches underway in Canadian cities, a year after Trump inauguration

Women are gathering in dozens of communities across the country today to… Continue reading

Red Deer councillor balks at city getting stuck with more funding responsibilities

Volunteer Central seeks municipal funding after being cut off by government

Olds chicken barn burns to the ground, no livestock harmed

More than 100,000 chickens were saved as fire crews prevent the blaze from spreading

Bear video meant to promote conservation: zoo owner

Discovery Wildlife Park says it will look at other ways to promote its conservation message

WATCH: Setters Place grand opening in Red Deer

Red Deer’s Setters Place officially opened to the public Saturday afternoon.… Continue reading

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month