DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: My twelve-year-old daughter is like so many kids these days who just “talk” with “friends” on social media, usually for the whole time she’s home, in the car with me, or at her dad’s place for a visit. She almost never physically hangs out with anybody, and it really bothers me.
I know she’s “typical,” but I need to know how to get her into the real world, with real people, doing real things. --- FRUSTRATED MOM
DEAR FRUSTRATED MOM: Start with limiting the time your daughter spends on-line or on her phone. Make mealtimes “no tech” times. Set aside an evening or weekend afternoon to do something with her that involves personal interaction, like shopping, game night, or even watching a movie together, on a screen bigger than a cell phone in a venue larger than her room.
Also consider teaming up with the parents of some of the kids your daughter’s friends with in the real world to provide opportunities for the them to go old school and do something together, even if it’s just hanging out in someone’s home ─ with all their electronic devices stowed away for an hour or two.