Are you having a struggle with parenting kids on technology? In today’s tech-forward world, kids even as young as two- and three-years-old are privy to using iPads and iPhones for playing games or watching their favorite cartoons. Older kids and teens have grown up using technology for school and play and, no doubt, are familiar with tech of all kinds.
However, with this kind of immersion in tech comes the responsibility of parents to teach their children healthy and appropriate usage of technology. Read on for some expert tips:
Parenting Kids on Technology
Many experts agree that restrictions or boundaries need to be set around kids’ usage of technology. Fostering healthy boundaries for your kids around their use of gadgets from the get-go can help set the right precedent. Explain to your child that restrictions or guidelines are in place for their best interest and that their safety and health is at the forefront of these rules.
For example, allowing your child a certain amount of hours a day or week to be online and discussing these rules is key. This time management will not only help them now but also later in life. Furthermore, let your child know that you need to be aware of what content they are looking at for their protection and that there will be consequences to using tech inappropriately.
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For example, T-Mobile offers phone plans with advanced features called Family Allowances, in addition to unlimited talk, text and data. This feature offers parents the ability to monitor and restrict their children’s smartphone use if and when needed. Additionally, the plan lets you save money by allowing you to use your old phones and tablets simply by getting new SIM cards.
Kids today seem to yearn for the latest and greatest technology. But let’s face it — tech gadgets can be expensive. As such, it is vital to teach your child to be responsible with his or her technology. So it is important that your kids learn to take good care of their phones, iPads, laptops or any other devices they may have.
Though accidents can and do happen, some parents find it useful to make their child “pay” for any devices that need to be replaced through earning money at after-school jobs or by doing chores around the house. This shows kids firsthand that devices cost money and if you don’t have the money, then you go without. It also teaches them more responsibility when it comes to taking care of their belongings.
Lead by Example
Though technology isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and most families use it to stay in touch with one another every day, it is key to know when to put the phones and other devices down. And this starts with parents setting the right example for their kids.
Parents may wish to carve out “tech-free” times of the day when all members of the family put down or power off their devices and simply enjoy each other’s company or go outside for play time or physical activity.
Remember: Kids watch what you do more than they listen to what you say … so lead by example by putting your own phone down during this time. At the end of the day, setting the proper expectations and keeping lines of communication open with your child when it comes to his or her technology habits can help avoid any potential problems in the future and ensure your child’s safety.
Do you have any parenting tips on kids and technology? Share them in the comments below!