Ask Janell | Janell Burley Hofmann
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Is My Child Ready for the New Tech Gift?

Dear Janell,

Is my child ready for the newest tech gift? Should I get him the latest gadget this holiday season?

Thanks,
Holiday Parent

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No Porn? Seriously?

Dear Janell,

No porn? Seriously? You want it or not, your son is going to masturbate like any other human being and you don’t even let him watch porn to maximize the experience? The other rules you wrote just show you are a douche mother.

Unsigned

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Two Houses - Two Sets of Rules?

Dear Janell,

My question revolves around your iRule #1, the foundation. My stepchild bought his own iTouch and his Mom bought and maintains his phone contract. There was a recent, serious breech in the form of a texting incident with serious ramifications for the child. Because we are a blended family with different sets of values, the incident resulted in the phone being taken away and then eventually returned. But there are still NO rules or instructions given for proper use at his other household. We have adopted instead, “It's our house, when you are here it's our rules.” He doesn't think we're the greatest. Ultimately, we can not control the other household where he lives and we have no common values. Any thoughts on how to adopt rules in two households with conflicting messages? I’m worried about my stepson’s safety and reputation. We understand and would welcome any suggestions.

Thanks,
Donna

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Sneaky Technology Behavior

Dear Janell,

Much like you, I gave my son a computer as a gift for his fifteenth birthday. I work in the technology field and over the years I have taught my son how to use computers with complete fluency. But recently, he has started to hide it from me. Now, when I walk into his bedroom, he will turn the screen around on his computer or use the keypad to close the windows. He is being sneaky and I don’t know what to do. I feel totally helpless because I gave him all of this technology and taught him how to use it and now it’s out of my control. Is there anything I can do?

Thank you for any help you can provide,
Unsure

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