If your kids are like the many children around the country that received a new gadget for Christmas, your new year’s resolution should be to become the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of your family. Protect them from the technology that is slowly taking over their lives and aiding the obesity epidemic. Protect your family; someone has to.
Here are a few easy steps to get you started.
Device Regulation. Determine what devices your children are allowed to use and how they can use them.
No Technology Time. Set a time during the day, when everyone in your family is home, in which no technology is allowed. During this time encourage family bonding through conversation, going for a walk, playing a game or doing an activity together.
Set Screen Time Limits. Set an amount of time in which your children are allowed to sit in front of a screen (tv, computer, laptop, nintendo DS and anything else that has you children sitting down and staring at it). Talk to your family about why you are setting limits and clearly define your expectations. Once the limits are set, as the CTO, you need to enforce these limits.
Create A Tracking Sheet. Hold your family accountable. Create a tracking sheet for everyone in your family. Hang it on your refrigerator door and this is how you will track how much screen time they have used during the day. Once the screen time limit has been reached for the day, that is it. Stick to your guns on this, and they will catch on quickly.
Monitor Content. Set limits and make sure that they are using the tools as you deemed appropriate. If your children are old enough to have email addresses, social media accounts or anything else that requires a login, you need to be the owner of this information. You should also be checking these accounts regularly.