Technology comes with lessons for parents

When it comes to teaching children the best way to use their handsets and other gadgets, clear communication is the best way to go

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--It does not go to school with you. Have a conversation with the people you text in person. It's a life skill. *Half days, field trips and after school activities will require special consideration.

--If it falls into the toilet, smashes on the ground, or vanishes into thin air, you are responsible for the replacement costs or repairs. Mow a lawn, babysit, stash some birthday money. It will happen, you should be prepared.

--Do not use this technology to lie, fool, or deceive another human being. Do not involve yourself in conversations that are hurtful to others. Be a good friend first or stay the hell out of the crossfire.

--Do not text, email, or say anything through this device you would not say in person.

--No porn. Search the web for information you would openly share with me. If you have a question about anything, ask a person -- preferably me or your father.

--Turn it off, silence it, put it away in public. Especially in a restaurant, at the movies, or while speaking with another human being. You are not a rude person; do not allow the iPhone to change that.

--Leave your phone home sometimes and feel safe and secure in that decision. It is not alive or an extension of you. Learn to live without it.

--Play a game with words or puzzles or brain teasers every now and then.

And what's the mom's advice if her child messes up?

The letter says: "I will take away your phone. We will sit down and talk about it. We will start over again. You & I, we are always learning. I am on your team. We are in this together."

This story, "Technology comes with lessons for parents" was originally published by PCWorld.

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