Managing Home Technology
How many times per hour do you check your phone? Do your children see you doing this? Do you ever talk to your children, spouse or other adults while looking at a screen? If this is only a small issue for you, congratulations! Either way, consider looking at Common Sense Media's DeviceFreeDinner with your family.
Tablets, computers, and phones are amazing tools. But they also offer endless entertainment and distractions. Even with internet controls, we all find ways to distract ourselves when we think we need a break or just don't want to do our work. Talk to your children about this. Monitor their screen use from time-to-time and help them focus. Consider printing articles instead of reading them on a screen.
Heightened anxiety is caused by the level of distraction and the amount of information available on the devices our children use.
Give your child other activities. If they're busy playing basketball, playing a board-game, drawing a picture, playing the piano or playing with a neighbor, they're not on a screen. See the Non-Tech Activities page.
It is natural to want to decompress after school or work. Instead of watching a screen, consider doing something that requires your child to be active.
After decompressing, a good rule of thumb is homework before screen-time.
Have your students work in a common area rather than their bedroom. Having your student work where they are visible lets them know you are interested in the choices they are making, and are supportive of their success in school.
More and more homework is done on computers. But not all homework is done on screens. Work with your child to do their non-screen homework first. They will feel a sense of completion and won't have that initial opportunity to be distracted by the computer.
Consider putting the phones away during homework.
Screens (TVs, tablets, computers, and phones) in bedrooms are difficult to monitor. Think about removing screens from bedrooms as early an age as possible as it is a difficult rule to introduce and enforce by age 9. Research supports the fact that students need distracted, uninterrupted sleep to support their health.
Device, Internet and gaming addiction is real. Online bullying is real and can be instigated by "good" children. Stay aware. Monitor their computer use - what content are they consuming their communications. See Online Safety If your child or family is struggling with any of these issues, talk to your teacher, principal or school counselor.
- Raising Humans in a Digital World by Diana Graber of cyberwise.org
- Surviving Your Child's Adolescence by Carl Pickhardt
- Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne (and Podcast)
- The Teenage Brain by Frances Jensen
- How to Hug a Porcupine (Negotiating the Prickly Points of the Tween Years)
- CyberWise.org - Information for parents of tweens and teens
- Internet Safety 101 - Helpful parent guides.
- Common Sense Media's Family Engagement Resources. (Our students learn about common sense digital citizenship at school.)
- Tech Talk Tuesday Blog - Thoughtful discussions to have with your tween/teen - Addiction, Bullying, Social Media, Cell Phones, College, Distraction, Digital Citizenship, Health, Mental Health, Homework, Monitoring, Parenting, Pornography, Sexting, Privacy, Rules, Screen time, Self Control, Video Games, etc.
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