I’ve never been more thankful for technology than I am today. Our devices and connection to the internet allow us regular communication with our college kids and loved ones around the country.
Yet, this same technology that connects us to the vast world also has the power to disconnect us in our own homes if we’re not careful.
So, what can we parents do to set our loved ones up for success when it comes to digital devices?
Here are 5 Ways to Set Your Family up for Screen-Time Success
1. Educate yourself
I know. Nobody has time for this. But, if we’re going to hand our kids technological devices, we must also educate ourselves about the risks and rewards.
Fortunately, there is a slew of tech experts out there to help us learn from their books, podcasts, and websites. One of my favorites is Disconnected Author and Expert Tom Kersting. Listen to my interview with him HERE or the podcast episode I did with him HERE.
- Learn about the video games your children are playing. Are they appropriate for their age?
- Do you know what social media apps your teens are on? Are you on the platforms as well?
2. Talk tech around your table
Many of us are merely trying to survive this season of raising our kids and if we’re honest we’re turning a blind eye to the devices in our children’s hands.
Hold a family meeting to talk about technology use specifically. Talk about what’s working and what you see not working when it comes to technology use in your home.
3. Establish healthy daily digital habits
Technology might be the most significant battlefield parents are facing when raising children today. However, technology is not the problem- our time and habits on our screens are the issues.
Do you know how much time each of your children is spending in front of a screen each day? If not, begin to pay attention.
Set up screen time or a monitoring app on your family devices and then use this data to start a conversation about why 5 hours a day on TikTok is not the best use of time.
Remember, none of our children will happily thank us for monitoring and curbing their daily tech use. We should expect some pushback and unhappiness when we establish new boundaries around technology.
Consider drawing up a smartphone or media contract stating your family’s expectations, boundaries, and consequences so that everyone is on the same page.
4. Set up screen-free spaces
Set up sacred areas in your home where no technology is allowed, such as in bedrooms or at the family dining table.
Your child may tell you they need to use their beloved device as an alarm, but you can outsmart them by purchasing an old-school digital clock for them to use instead. Protect your child’s sleep by keeping all technology out of the bedrooms overnight.
Strive to make your family mealtimes sacred in your home by not inviting devices to join you at the table.
5. Invest in visual tools that help you unplug
We can preach, plead, and prod our kids to get off their beloved devices, or we can set up family routines and systems to help everyone disconnect more easily. We often purchase technological devices and then fail to invest in the tools that will help us use them more successfully.
I’m a big fan of investing in tools and products to help our family be intentional with our tech use at home. Cades and Birch’s personalized wooden device holders are a great way to set your family up for screen-free success.
The locked box below is perfect for storing video game controllers when they are not in use. All of their device holders feature a hole in the back to put charging cables through.
What are you struggling with most when it comes to technology use in your home?