Just a quick post today – to share 3 tips I often give to parents about using technology at home. These work for both kids and us parents too and help draw us a line between screen time and ‘real people’ time!
No computers at meals. This means putting away the phone, iPad or laptop at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Not only are computers during meals anti-social, but they really encourage poor posture. Eat slowly, talk with your family and leave those screens on the kitchen bench!
When you first get home at the end of the day, put the computers out on the bench straight away. I see a lot of damage to technology because bags were kicked, tripped over or trodden on. Take out the expensive technology – yes even that iPhone – and put it in sight and out of harms way. For our kids, this also means we know when they are using their computers – good for managing computer use and helping keep them safe.
At night, as you go to bed, plug in the computers to charge – and the kids tech too – and make this part of your routine. Have a ‘charging station’ set up in a public space (kitchen or family room) and check that all the technology is accounted for. So no phones or iPads in bedrooms at night. This way you know that their computers are ready for learning at school in the morning and that there is a line between online time and at-home time. I have heard a number of not-so-great stories of online behaviour that happened in the early hours of the morning. Sending nasty or inappropriate messages from bedrooms when there are no adults around to help make good decisions… Keep the tech out of bedrooms!
So there are my three quick tips to keep your children happy and healthy (with tech) at home! We need to set boundaries for our children and enforce them too. Don’t worry it’s just about setting up a routine, and once you do this stuff becomes second nature :0)
How do you manage technology for your kids at home? Any other suggestions to share with us?