Kids used to be really happy with necklace kits, puzzles, and building blocks, but these days, they really prefer other things, including tech gifts, which can connect them to the rest of the world.
But, with these gifts, not only do they get something techy, but they also come with risks including:
- Less sleep
- Disconnection with family and friends
- More time focused on these gadgets
- Higher chances of cyberbullying
- Using the device as a surrogate parent
Even though all of this is the case, you still probably want to give your kids the best tech devices out there. So, here are some ideas that you can use to manage your children’s tech time:
Have a Family/Parent Night
Give each of your kids a “Parent night” with you and/or your spouse in order to stay away from technology for a couple of hours.
Start New Rules
You also can set new rules in the home. For example, after dinner, the first kid to reach for their phone has to clear the table and do the dishes.
You can start creating restrictions, too, and these can definitely help your kid stay away from their devices
- When you give your kid a smart phone, you should create an agreement with them so that you always know their passwords, and they should know that you will randomly go through their phone whenever you want to.
- Your child must also agree that you will always have access to their social media accounts, and you will check their posts whenever you want to.
- Encourage them to get information in other ways besides the internet. For instance, make sure they know how to use a dictionary and how to find a country on a globe.
- Limit internet use to schoolwork during the week.
- Have a “black out” time for devices each night. You can confiscate the devices before bed, for instance, or hide them if you have some sneaky kids around.
- If your kids’ friends come over, ban phone use in your home.
- Limit the use of devices when your kids are in the car. Eventually, they must learn to drive, and there is a lot of distractions on their devices. Though this doesn’t guarantee that the kids won’t be distracted by other things, they can still learn a valuable lesson and get in the habit of NOT having a device within reach when they begin to drive themselves.
- Set a good example; don’t text and drive.
- Get your kids started in activities that don’t require the use of a phone. Do this early, so they look at it as a habit.
- Put them in sports. It’s difficult to hit a ball or shoot a basket if they have a cell phone in their hand.
- Have family time for activities that don’t require a phone. Examples are bike riding, hiking, board games, bowling, cooking, baking, etc. When doing these things, phones should be banned.
Some people think that these things are harsh, or to some, even impossible. But really, all of it is easy to do, and you just need to do it. You could also be protecting them from identity theft.
Written by Robert Siciliano, CEO of Credit Parent, Head of Training & Security Awareness Expert at Protect Now, #1 Best Selling Amazon author, Media Personality & Architect of CSI Protection Certification.