Did your kids get a new video game, a tablet, or other tech this Christmas? Are you regretting it already? Technology is an integral part of our world and it presents both opportunities and challenges for parents. Like any tool it can be used for good as a time saver, entertainment, even a place to be creative. But you wouldn’t allow your child to operate a power drill until the appropriate age and even then, not without supervision and guidelines.
Technology is similar to so many other things in family life. The best place to start is with a conversation. Talk about your family’s values and how those values are integrated into tech usage. If you value strong family connections then having limits on the amount of time your whole family uses technology makes sense. That way you can have the face to face interactions that build strong connection. How do your family’s values translate in the digital world?
What supervision and guidelines do you want to set up this year related to technology? Here’s a great place to start from Common Sense Media:
Have a media plan. It’s really easy for media and technology to overstay their welcome. This year, start off with a plan to maintain a balance and stay in control. A few ideas:
Create screen-free zones. Keep certain areas (bedrooms, for example) and times (such as dinner) off-limits to phones, tablets, TVs, and other devices so they’re reserved for rest and family time.
Cut down on multitasking during homework. Little distractions can add up to big misses on the math test.
Set limits. Everyone needs to disengage from their devices — adults included. Establish appropriate boundaries and make sure you enforce them.
Click here to read the full article from Common Sense Media for more recommendations on managing your family’s technology usage.
Helping your kids learn how to manage media, video games, and devices will serve them well as they grow up. Keep talking and being intentional about how your family leverages technology.