Overwhelmed by trying to control technology usage in your family? Instead of implementing rules, it may be beneficial to establish “best practice” boundaries around technology.
Here are some simple tips to help you manage technology in your home…
- Remove smartphones, laptops, computers, and tablets from bedrooms. Keep laptops and computers downstairs in a shared room. Homework can be done in a special space that is quiet and comfortable. Keeping smartphones and tablets out of the bedrooms will ensure a good night’s sleep for all, as the blue light from these screens can disrupt melatonin production (the sleep hormone). You also may consider implementing a time when all technology should be shut down for the night.
- Make passwords known to all. Set the tone that all passwords are shared (in the family). It should be noted that this doesn’t mean you will be checking their devices and apps frequently, but more for safety and peace of mind. As your children get older and time has shown that they can manage their devices responsibly, then the conversation around privacy can be revisited.
- Implement “no cell phone” activities. Some activities may include family meals, outings, movie and television watching and homework time. It’s important to practice “disconnecting” from the world, as well as enjoying the present moment.
- Encourage communication via FaceTime instead of text. Video calling encourage the practice of verbal and non-verbal communication. This will help your kids build better skills at reading social cues. It also encourages risk-taking—it’s riskier to relate face to face then via text messaging—which builds confidence and self-esteem!
Starting with these four steps will be the beginning of the discussion around technology and they will soon become part of daily life in your home.