Many parents tell me they aren’t sure where to start when it comes to managing screen time in their families. They’ll say, “How can I expect my kids to be able to handle the responsibility of using a device when I don’t have technology boundaries for myself?”
I also hear this, “I feel so overwhelmed and fearful about parenting in a digital world! How do I do this?”
I get it. I’ve been there!
Over I year ago I craved more sleep, better relationships, more time to be alone with my thoughts, and time for creativity. I knew that by creating some personal technology boundaries, I could change all of these things for the better.
I also didn’t want to feel panicked about screen time. I wanted to feel confident.
And, our kids were growing up. We had a teenager now, and I would be the parent of many teenagers before too long! I wanted to teach them good habits before they had their own device. I needed to “be the change I wanted to see.”
I started my journey to better technology boundaries by asking myself these questions:
- Do I lose sleep or delay my bedtime to spend time on a device?
- Am I modeling the kind of tech habits I want my kids to have when they are older and ready for a device of their own?
- Do I feel fearful about raising kids in a digital world?
- Do I have regular times of day when I set my device aside?
- Do my kids or spouse tell me that I look at my phone too much?
- Can I step away from social media, games, or other optional uses of technology for at least a week?
- Do I set out to complete a task at work or at home and get distracted by my device?
- Do I sometimes feel down or discouraged after using a device for too long?
- Do I feel disappointed at the end of each week because I didn’t take time to do an activity that I love?
These questions helped me to really look at my technology habits and see where I could improve. I started making changes bit by bit. I started with myself and then gradually worked with my husband and kids to start the conversation of how to create healthy technology boundaries as a family.
It was a painful process at times. It’s never easy to give up old habits, but the benefits far outweighed the discomfort in the end!
I decided to select five of these questions to create an assessment parents can use to evaluate their technology use.
You can use this assessment to help you see where you might need to make some changes. (You’ll find a link to get the full assessment at the bottom the post!)
There is no way around this one. We have to lead our families by example.
What will you gain by making some changes in your personal technology use?
More sleep, better relationships, time for the things you love, mental clarity, and improved health.
It’s an investment worth making. I promise.
If you’d like some help changing your mindset, your environment, and your tech habits so you can confidently lead your family to better screen time, you won’t want to miss our BRAND NEW course: