I’ve been married to a wonderful woman for two years and she has a son who is a freshman in high school. Like many teens I see, he is constantly on his smartphone, his tablet, or playing video games on the TV in his bedroom. On a recent vacation, I decided enough was enough. This time he had headphones on and was watching videos online while we were at a restaurant. His grades have dropped and I can see he is so connected to his electronics that he’s disconnected from people. While I don’t want to seem controlling, I now feel I have a vested interest in the boy. I’m not sure what to do, but something needs to be done. Ya got any ideas?
From Springfield, Illinois
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It is a sign of the times, when young teens are addicted to technology. You must get him away from the machines, even if you have to build a dungeon below your basement and toss that anti-social geek into it. The first step is home schooling him. Isolate him from seeing the latest scientific advances, and then gradually begin pushing him back into time. If he wants to communicate with his friends, tell him it has to be a handwritten letter that you’ll mail. Read it first right in front of him, and if you see any grammatical errors, misspelled words, or poor penmanship, tear it up into little pieces, throw the confetti in his face, and make him start again. Remove the outlets in every room except one, so it will easy to monitor him attempting to get power for any electronic devices. Continue to slowly push him back into time, until the idea of an airplane is too “futuristic” for him to grasp. But be careful how far you push him back, because you don’t want him to regress to the dating mindset of a stereotypical caveman, and drag a woman into your home by the hair, that he knocked out with a club. If he did that, even Fred Flintstone would label him a sex offender. I hope this helps.