Yesterday, we started looking at some tips for managing with our kids the proliferation of technology in a wireless age, so as to prevent problems spiralling out of control. This might sound dramatic, but plenty of parents find it hard to manage the tension between enjoying technology’s benefits and preventing its excesses. Here’s some more thoughts that may be helpful.
4. Limit time on games and apps and ban gadgets at social functions, family mealtimes and other priority events. It’s all part of setting healthy boundaries and preventing addictions from developing. Restrictions can be relaxed partly when responsibility is proved, but some will always apply.
5. Ensure that all ipods, phones, etc., are handed in by a certain time each night and that computers are off by a set time. “But I need to do my homework”, is overused and I typically threaten the need to handwrite the homework where I am being railroaded. Many kids are just plain distracted when doing ‘homework’ and simply do not work as efficiently as they say or think.
6. If escalation is needed, you keep a prepaid mobile phone and lend it out for selected usage. It’s up to them whether they let their friends know or just appear ‘to have one too’. Confiscating the gadgets for extended periods may also be needed for breaking addictions and confronting breaches of ground rules, but be consistent and appropriate.
7. Finally, you are the parent and you are allowed to exercise responsibility for the moral, ethical and behavioural choices that go on under your roof. Kids actually want you to establish boundaries and feel safe knowing where they are, even if they kick against them! After all, you only get one chance at raising kids and it’s easier to relax later than it is to tighten up.