Connect with us


How to Set Rules Around Tech with Your Family



How to Set Rules Around Tech with Your Family

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

There is no denying the value of technology. Families use it for work and play, and children need it for homework and school correspondence. But like all good things, technology’s power must be used wisely.

It’s a good idea to establish rules that your family must follow when it comes to using technology. You can declare some areas of your home as “no tech” zones. You can set times during the day when technology use is no longer allowed. You can require your children to receive your approval before buying things online or downloading new apps.

Here are some ideas for rules that will help you manage your family’s use of technology.

The buck starts here

The first rule to establish for technology use by your children is that you are the parent. You decide what is allowed and when it is allowed when it comes to technology. Like everything in a child’s life, a privilege comes with responsibility. If you decide your child earned the right to use a cell phone for kids, then their responsibility is to respect your authority.

You have the authority to set rules related to tech. You also have the authority to decide if your child loses the privilege of using it. This rule applies even if you didn’t pay for the child’s smartphone or TV or video game. Discuss this foundational principle of tech use in your home to make sure your child understands.

Decide when your child can handle technology

Not every child can handle the responsibility of using technology. Some children are too young to use an expensive smartphone or tablet. Some children may not understand their responsibilities that come with the privilege of using technology. As a parent, you must decide when your child is old enough and responsible enough to follow the rules.

Start the process slowly with your child. Let them earn the privilege of responsible tech use. They can carry a smartphone with them when they are away to keep in touch. If they follow the rules, extend the time you allow them to use the smartphone. As they show greater respect and responsibility, expand the privilege you’ve given them.

Create “no-tech” zones in your home

Many of these rules relate to managing your child’s technology use. But some rules must apply to the entire family. It’s a great way to set an example for children about limits on tech. One rule is to create areas in your home where tech is not allowed. The kitchen table is one place that typically is a “no-tech” zone.

You may limit tech in bedrooms, too. Consider prohibiting TVs in all bedrooms and no computers in your child’s bedroom. Talk to your child about the importance of limiting technology use to certain areas. Bedrooms are for bedtime, for example. Set up tech areas where the entire family can enjoy television, video games and computers.

Don’t use tech as a “babysitter”

It’s not unusual for parents to use television or video games as a babysitter. While this offers parents a break, it can teach children a bad habit of overusing technology. It also reduces a child’s ability to use their imagination during playtime. Encourage other opportunities for your child to explore new hobbies or interests.

Technology provides a break from work and daily routines. So, it’s important to stress limited use of television, smart devices and video games. That way, their use provides a special opportunity to enjoy the break when possible.

Establish appropriate boundaries with technology

An important rule to establish when managing technology use by your family is to set boundaries. There is a time when television is appropriate. You don’t want your child on their smartphone at all hours. Set time limits for the use of television and video games. Your child only has so many hours after school before dinner and bedtime. Consider limiting the use of television viewing and video games during that period.

It’s a good idea to establish a set time for television viewing for the entire family. This will encourage other activities you can do together, such as board games or family fun nights. Require your children to surrender their cell phones at a certain time before bedtime.

Encourage your children’s investment

The great thing about technology is it is always changing. There are always new smartphones, more popular video games or fancier computers. If your child expresses an interest in new technology, perhaps you can encourage them to help buy it. This will promote responsible ownership of something they helped purchase. It also teaches them you aren’t made of money.

Exercise parental controls with technology

Technology today gives parents control over how their children use it. You can limit television access to block adult content. You can set controls on your computer browser that prevent accessing adult content. You can approve all purchases of apps and video games that your children buy.

You wouldn’t allow them to go out in the middle of the night. Don’t be afraid to limit where they go online, too.

Make the consequences clear for breaking the rules

We all make mistakes. When we do the wrong thing, there are consequences for our actions. Make sure you establish clear consequences for your children if they break the technology rules. And make sure you hold yourself accountable if you break the rules, too.

For example, if the family rules say no cell phones at dinner and you use yours, pay the price. You can offer to give your child a dollar if you break the rule or do one of their chores. This will develop a sense of fairness in your home and show the seriousness of your rules.

Technology offers entertainment, knowledge and inspiration if used properly. Give your family the tools needed to ensure they get the most out of the experience.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *