Parenting Class

This Month’s Parenting Class: How to Help Your Kids Manage Mobile Tech

Welcome to this month’s online parenting class! This month we are going to talk about kids, teens, and mobile tech. Yes, we are going to talk about cell phones and other mobile tech gadgets this generation has had since they were babies. Yep, we did it. We let our kids use our phones and tablets when they were little kids. Now those little babies are grown and have their own devices. 

There is no going back. Mobile tech is here to stay!

Our goal now is to help kids and teens learn to manage mobile tech. As adults, we have our own mobile devices and we all have opinions about them now after a decade of better and better tech. We love it and we hate it and we have to manage it. Our kids need help managing it because they don’t have the skills we have as adults. Now is the time to help your kids and teens learn to make mobile tech a part of their life and not dominate their life. 

Let me give you some thoughts that can help your children learn to manage the mobile tech they have access to.

Tech is a privilege, not a right.

Never forget, your children don’t have to have their tablets, watches, and phones. Tech is about adding to our lives not dominating our lives. Tech is a privilege and should be treated that way. You provide your children with their devices and those devices should be used in a way you approve of. We advise parents to use a tech contract to spell out how you expect your kids to use their devices. When you spell out what you expect you have every right to limit access to that tech when your kids choose to disobey.

No tech at meals.

This goes for the entire family. Leave mobile tech away from meals. Stop kids from watching videos at meals and putting in headphones. Leverage meals as a time to have real conversations, laugh, catch up, and learn how to live without the influence of tech. 

Social Media accountability.

You should always have access to all your kids and teens social media accounts. If your child is under 12 we recommend they have no social media, and older than 12, access to it should be staggered and limited. You should be connected to your children on any platform they use and if you see things that raise red flags you have every right to limit access. As your children grow older your limit on social media should also get more lenient. Social is just that, it’s social, so make sure you have a voice in that area for your children.

Internet and cell bedtimes. 

Never allow your children to have unlimited access to the internet all night because they will stay up all night on it. There are many ways you can shut down the internet and the cell phone data your children have at nights. Make sure your kids are clear when tech is to be shut down so they can actually go to sleep. While we are talking about the internet and data, lets talk about their browser access. Use your parental controls to limit download of apps and also access to content on the internet. Your kids will watch what you give them access to. Limit that!

Family fun that leaves tech alone. 

Plan times where your family puts up the mobile tech and has some fun. Play a board game. Plan a hike. Leave devices at home and go for a bike ride. Learn to hang out without tech.

We want to encourage you to be aware of what your kids are using mobile tech for in their lives. We love tech but we don’t want tech to wreck your family. Thanks for being an active parent in the lives of your children and teens.

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