Do you feel overwhelmed by how to manage technology as a family? If so, you are definitely not alone. I frequently have parents asking me how to use technology in a way that is beneficial, but that also creates a sense of connectedness at home. Here are three take-home strategies for helping to manage technology at home, so that you can receive its benefits, but still spend meaningful time together.
Model what you want your kids to do. As DeGaetno (2015) suggests, what we show our children is very important! If you’re wanting phone-free dinner time, be intentional about putting away your phones as well, and listening to your child talk about his or her day without the interruptions of emails, phone calls, or text messages. Setting the standard as parents will help your children to follow your lead.
Have one phone/iPad/technology-free activity each day. Many families find family dinner the easiest time to ask everyone to be unplugged, but having a consistent bedtime routine where you spend time reading to your children, telling stories, or hearing about their days could be beneficial as well.
Plan events your child will look forward to. Whether that’s going for a hike, taking your children to the park, kayaking, tubing down a river, or something simple like a board game night, create intentional experiences and celebrate those together as a family. Whether these are reoccurring family traditions, or one-time occasions to take advantage of the weather as we near Springtime, it’s important to teach your children how to get outside, or how to enjoy time together doing activities as a family unit.
References: DeGaetano, G. (2015). Be a front-stage positive digital parent. Retrieved from: http://gloriadegaetano.com/positive-digital-parent/
Dreher, D. (2016, February 23). Have you lost your child to the internet. Retrieved from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/your-personal-renaissance/201602/have-you-lost-your-child-the-internet