Technology has been rapidly evolving during our children’s generation’s lifetime, making it difficult to parent through this technology. This generation of kids have grown up with technology at their fingertips, even babies not even being 6 months old are using tablets and other devices. These kids are so accustomed to technology that it runs there life and, according to parentfurther.com, causes them to have trouble sleeping and get less sleep, exercise less and are more prone to obesity, do less homework, read less, spend less time with their friends and family, and have a harder time making good decisions because of the information overload.
Due to the unlimited amount of information available on these devices the only way to save your children is to set limits of these devices. Setting limits can be hard, but is necessary for this generation to survive being swallowed whole by the sheer amount of technology and information. In addition to house rules, specific rules should be set for electronic use as stated by discipline.about.com.
A few tips on how to do this include:
- Model Healthy Electronic Use. Become a role model for your kids to mimic their electronic use after. Children need someone to look up to and base their behaviors off of.
- Educate Yourself on Electronics. Become just as tech savvy as your kids. The kids of this generation have grown up with this technology so you have some catching up to do.
- Create “No Technology Zones”. Places like the dinner table can be considered tech free zones, allowing for better family time.
- Establish Unplugged Time Frames. Children need some sort of structure and schedule. Every child is different, but it might be more successful if they’re made to sit down and do homework right as they come home, that time being an unplugged time, leaving them with the whole rest of the night to themselves.
- Use Parental Controls. As tech savvy as these kids are, they’re still not mature enough sometimes to realize what they’re clicking into. You can protect them through monitoring what they’re doing online.
- Just a sub–tip: The most amazing cell phone monitoring software I found was Easy Spy cell phone monitor. I was able to find everything my daughter was saying and doing online fast and easily. It was really a great help!
- Talk to Kids about Risks. Don’t keep them in the dark. If you present these risks to kids they’ll usually be more careful, of course in an age-appropriate way.
- Obtain your Children’s Passwords. If anything this can just be a sign of trust. You can tell them that you just the passwords just in case you need to get into their accounts.
- Encourage Other Activities. To deter them from spending too much time sitting on their butts with a device in their hand you may want to suggest activities like sports, clubs and volunteering. This will get them out of the house and away from technology.
- Use Screen Time as a Privilege. Make their time with technology a reward as well as have consequences that take away that reward if anything is done to betray your rules. Like the first thing my mom always took away when I got a bad grade or acted up was my cell phone.
- Don’t Allow Screen Media in Your Child’s Bedroom. This can be the biggest distraction to their sleep patterns. Children stay up too late as it is, no need to add a phone into the equation.
Of course every family and parenting style is different, but these are just a few tips that hopefully can solve a few technology issues that arise when raising a child in this generation. Great monitoring applications are available, like Easy Spy which is easy-to-use even if you have a mom-type knowledge of technology.