As parents, it’s essential to set age-appropriate technology and device boundaries. These can be helpful—and needed—when teaching our children technology etiquette while keeping our children safe. We have a wonderful 10–year–old son Tayten and, as his parents, we set the tone for his technology and device usage. We make sure to not only set technology boundaries, but we also engage in the healthy conversations with our son on why those boundaries have been set.
For example, friends of ours shared an idea that we adopted, specifically around tablets and video games: No Technology Sundays. We are so occupied during the week with school and club sports that technology and devices aren’t a big issue in our household. But if you feel your kiddos resort to video games or technology in their leisure time, set up the game rules.
It is our job to keep our children safe and to equip them with wings to fly, but also to encourage and instill the skill sets of intuition, critical thinking and making safe and healthy choices. Practice what you preach with technology. Some ideas to ensure more technology safety are:
With older children, engage in healthy conversations about the apps they have on their cell phone and what sites they visit. Understand the social media they use the most whether it’s Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and more. Don’t be afraid to follow them on social media and be their friend on the social networks.
Take a technology “brake” and “break.” This is food–for-the-soul advice. As parents, what can be more enjoyable than being present with our children? Some of our own family favorites include cooking and eating dinner together; talking everything on our son’s mind (or ours); taking our sweet pup Thor on a family walk; enjoying fitness, sports, the outdoors, philanthropy, meditation, travel and sight-seeing together. And we can’t forget hugs!
Most of all, engaging in quality time that we can’t get back. We have so many opportunities to seize these precious moments with our amazing children and loved ones. Take advantage of the priceless time. They will thank us for it one day as they raise amazing children of their own.
By // Alicia Fortune, Director of Practice Development, LifeScape Premier