The school year’s started and kids are diving into projects, assignments, and of course… their social lives. With so much of that happening on screen, conversations (and often arguments) at home will revolve around time spent online.
How much is ok?
How often should you take a break?
And how could you possibly have THAT MUCH homework?
Make sure guidelines are put in place so that conflict can be avoided. Use a family agreement like the My.U.P. to help kids set their own limits (with a little guidance, of course!). If they feel a sense of ownership over their habits, they’re likely to come to you for support when they need it.
Another way to avoid arguments is to model healthy habits yourself. Adolescents can sniff hypocrisy a mile away, and if your head is in a device from the minute you walk through the door, you’ll have a difficult time getting any buy-in from them.
Here’s a great article from Edutopia with some tips on balancing the family’s digital diet… I especially like the idea of “turning the conversation to creation instead of consumption”. Use your devices to create something as a family. Make a playlist of your favorite songs. Put it on. Dance.
And don’t be afraid to acknowledge your own difficulties unplugging. Talk to them about it. Fill out your own tech use policy.
Not only will they appreciate your honesty, but they’ll probably be able to help you come up with some solutions… like, say turning off those pesky WeChat notifications.
Or are you more of a Whatsapper?
For more resources to help manage your family’s digital diet, click here.