Parents face many challenges today, and with technology changing rapidly, it can be difficult to keep up. One thing is for sure, and that is that kids today are much more technology savvy than their parent’s generation. It isn’t unusual for kids to have their own cell phones and tablets while still in elementary school, so it’s up to the adults to set some ground rules. Here’s some helpful advice on setting rules for kids and technology:
Limit screen time
Let’s be honest about it- many of us are glued to our screen these days. Cell phones have become so much more than just a way to make a call, so of course children are going to want to be glued to their screens, too. However, parents need to set limits on screen time, especially for young kids. It simply isn’t healthy to stare at the screen for hours on end.
When it comes to social media, mom and dad call the shots
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram- there are so many different social media sites out there today, and as a parent, you need to be aware of where your child has created a profile. Sit down with your kids and discuss the different social sites that they would like to join, and then help them to set up a profile on those sites that you approve of. You may not feel comfortable with your preteen having an Instagram account, and that’s okay, because it’s your call.
Turn off technology for family time
It may sound old-fashioned, but it’s a good idea to set up a time each day or every few days where you get together as a family without technology. Also referred to as “screen-free time”, this is a chance to talk, laugh, and reconnect without cell phones or tablets causing a distraction. Tell the kids to turn off the phones or leave them in another room while you enjoy quality, technology-free time together.
Set ground rules that are realistic and that can be enforced. While our devices are great for staying in touch, they have a time and a place in our lives, and it’s healthy to encourage kids to take breaks from them on a regular basis.