Internet Addictions and Role Modeling for My Son

As a parent, my actions have the effect of modeling behavior for my 3 year old son. For example, my son requests his own section of the newspaper to read during breakfast because that’s what Daddy does.

I’m cognizant of this influence, so some of my vices (like watching TV or drinking soda) wait until after his bedtime. However, there’s no way that I can avoid Internet time during his waking hours. First, I’m an addict; second, there are times when I try (mostly unsuccessfully) to work at home for the day; third, I am a workaholic, so all of my “hobbies” invariably involve using the computer. Consequently, my son sees me in front of the computer a lot.

This may not be a good thing. On Sunday, I tried to do some work at home and my son stood behind me, watching me as I worked on the computer. Every time I looked away (or even tried to interact with him), he told me “Keep reading” or “Keep going, Daddy.” Then, this morning as we were sitting at the breakfast table, he spontaneously ordered me (as only a 3 year old can): “Daddy, read at the computer!” In fact, he wanted me to get up from the table and go use the computer–and when I did so, he giggled with delight. What have I done???

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