Let's face it, kids have been on screens since March. It’s never too late to establish guidelines around technology, but the earlier you do it, the better. Today’s tip covers multiple aspects about introducing younger kids to technology and social media. If your kids are older, the genie is already out of the bottle; however, you can revisit the rules already in place, or create/co-create rules if you have none. Depending upon how your spring is going and what activities your kids are, or aren’t doing, this can be just what you need to redirect your kids… and maybe you, too.
The virtual, digital world is your kids’ reality. It’s the only world they know. You can’t control it all; however, when you hand over this technology, you need to be clear about the ground rules. Here are some ways to set the expectations:
1) Start talking about it when they are very young, before you hand then the iPad or smart phone.
2) Model careful and limited use.
3) Remind them to limit screen usage. You can’t ban it, but you can redirect them. They were born into a digital world and needed to be reminded there is another world out there.
4) Motivate them to exercise and get more physical activity. The more time they spend watching a screen, the higher the risk of weight gain.
5) Encourage outside activities or other activities that involve other siblings or family members to help socialize. Guide them to learn something new.
6) Ask them about the sites they visit, and you visit them, too. Learn what’s on them, and who’s on them.
7) Establish rules about privacy and not sharing passwords.
8) Set time and place limits for cell phones and screen/video game time.
9) Create screen rules together.
Fern Weis is a certified life coach who learned that caring and good intentions are not enough in parenting. In fact, they are often the problem! Fern supports parents of teens and young adults who are going through difficult situations, including addiction recovery. She helps parents release guilt, end enabling and confidently prepare their children to thrive through life's challenges. Her articles are featured in Thrive Global, Medium, Motherly, The Teen Mentor, and Bergen County Moms.
Learn more about coaching and classes at www.fernweis.com. And then download your free guide, "Five Powerful Steps to Get Your Teen to Talk." For information on Family Recovery programs, visit www.familyrecoverypartners.com.