This is Parentverse, The Information Weekend’s advice column for tech-savvy parents raising kids in a tech-dependent world. Email us your parenting questions at [email protected]. Or, if you don’t mind sharing them with your fellow subscribers, post them in the comments below.
I have two kids who are just different people, and so we’ve set different rules about screens, devices and videogames for each of them. But the rules are really hard to enforce, in particular because our boys want to play together.
The main issue is around videogames that are more violent. Our older son, 11, has more perspective, and doesn’t get as intensely engaged in the games. But our younger son, 8, loses himself in them, and, being much more emotionally sensitive, he gets really torqued up while playing. This probably wouldn’t be as big an issue, but with Covid-19 we let things slide, and the younger one has now played a lot more violent videogames than we ever wanted. I’m curious if you have any advice for how to set different boundaries for different siblings.
—Caroline Day, Brooklyn
This question hit me straight in the heart. I, too, have two boys who should have different rules about screen time, and in particular videogames, and yet it’s incredibly hard to give them tailored rules when they want to hang out together.