Mamamia’s Five Golden Rules series takes a pervy look into the lives of Australian families. From parents of toddlers to parents of teenagers, the series asks parents to share their golden parenting rules, including the rules for their kids, and their rules for just getting through the day.
This week, mother-of-three Cathy shares her Five Golden Rules for parenting teenagers.
I'm Cathy, and I'm a mum to three kids, including my son, who is nearly 20, and my identical twin daughters who recently turned 16. We live in Wollongong, just south of Sydney.
These are my five golden rules for parenting. They may not be perfect and may not work for every family, but we make them work for ours.
1. No technology in bedrooms. (Well, most of the time).
This used to be so simple and easy to manage because our kids went mostly through primary school without personal devices. My son was 12 and going into Year 7 when he had to get an iPad for the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program at school.
He also had to catch the bus to school, so we got him a very basic phone (so basic he "accidentally" left two of them in the pocket of his school pants hoping to score an old model iPhone from his Dad or I) with pre-paid credit in case he needed to contact us. The personal devices came a little earlier for our twins when their school introduced them in Year 5, much to my annoyance.
Even though the kids needed their devices for school, we had a rule that homework had to be done in the living area of the house. We tried to get homework over with before dinner each night so that they had a break between using their device and bed.
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We had a "charging station" set up in our room that the kids would plug their devices into each night before bed. Of course, kids being kids, they found a way around this. Each night, I would just check there was a charging cable plugged into the iPad cover. I was incredibly trusting until I discovered there was no iPad in the cover!