We are real parents. We will be the first to admit that we are not perfect. That means that screen time will never be perfect at our house, either.
But we are on a mission to make it better. Not only for our family, but for yours, too.
Over the past year we’ve researched and experimented. Sometimes we’ve failed and other times we’ve looked at each other in amazement when one of our kids mention something we’ve talked about in our Family Tech Think Tank!
If you are looking for ways to improve screen time at your house, these three key steps will help you to permanently improve your family screen time:
- Foundation: Create a family tech plan with your kids and use it! Kids and teens need ownership in creating your family’s guidelines. This is the foundation and the framework of your tech-responsible home. This is the most important step. Why? Because without a foundation and a framework, your house will easily fall down.
- Door locks: Use passwords. Passwords are the door locks that help keep hackers out. They also limit children’s access to tech. Parents should always know their teens’ passwords.
- Blinds: Use filters and monitoring apps as needed. Like blinds, filters or apps can be used when needed to help keep your family’s tech use in balance.
If we start with passwords, filters, and monitoring apps instead of a conversation, then when our kids are on the school bus and a friend pulls out a phone with a less than grandma-worthy image they might not know what to do. Where’s that app we installed on their phone? Well, it won’t help them in that moment.
And at some point our children will turn 18 and leave for college. How long do we tether our child to a 3rd party monitoring app? I don’t know the answer. But it’s something that I think about.
What I do know, is that we need to start with teaching and educating our children and teens to learn how to use technology as a tool so they learn how to have a balanced life. (And model it for them.)
How do YOU manage to have conversations with your kids about social media, pornography, cyber bullying, sexting, FOMO, using their time to develop talents and how to work?
There are a lot of intentional parents following along here. I would love to know what works for you!
(And if you need any help having these conversations, check out our free guide to get your Family Tech Think Tank started!)