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August 12, 2016 - Tips to Better Manage Kids' Technology Use

  • Educating yourself is an important first step.  Understand the types of technology available and what apps are out there for your kids to access.  Also take time to consider both the benefits and dangers of technology use.
    • Get comfortable with the options you have to restrict technology use when necessary.  These options include passwords, privacy settings, parental control, and knowing how to disable access.  If you have questions about these things, call the manufacturer or service provider helpline to get specific answers.
  • After you've educated yourself, do the same with your kids.  Make sure they understand the potential dangers of technology use, things to watch-out for, and how to be a safe consumer of technology. 
  • Technology use is a privilege, not a right.  Set specific and clear expectations for technology use and consequences when those expectations are broken.
    • Supervision of technology use is a must and getting cooperation form your kids will make life much easier for you.  As your kids get older and spend time with technology and on social media, include them in the setting of guidelines and make supervision a habit that's expected.
    • Have responsibilities for your kids in order to earn screen time (other than what is required with schoolwork).
  • Have protected technology-free times, like when sitting at the dinner table and an hour before bed.  Technology use prior to bed has been shown to disrupt sleeping patterns.
  • Consider having a technology/ screen-free day or weekend and intentionally spend that time together as a family.
  • Promote balance by encouraging your kids to regularly spend time reading, doing some type of physical activity, or any other fun activity that doesn't involve technology.
  • Avoid using technology as your primary communication source.  Face-to-face communication with your kids is important as it is more personal, increases your level of connection, and models behavior for your kids that they will need when they become working adults. 

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