Technology and family life.
7 Steps to help you out.
Why are we struggling with the concept of the modern age in our life?
We don’t know what we’re doing!!!!!! That’s why.
We cannot raise our children based solely on our upbringing. It is completely different. We are trying to pioneer with no map or compass, and it’s all on public display for others to judge. And believe me, they will judge.
And I think this has caused the most speed bumps in our journey to set the example that our own children will use to follow. Because ultimately that is what parenting is, showing our kids what they are to do in their grownup life, without damaging them too much along the way.
So what do we do about it??????? Here are 7 steps to help you out, hopefully.
- Lead by example. Golden formula to everything. But SUPER important. I love scrolling through my phone and am guilty of being addicted to a few games myself (candy crush).. So how can I have one rule for me and I rule for them? I can’t. Whenever the kids are around, I try to only use technology for important thing eg: banking, emails ect. Then when the kids aren’t around I indulge in games ect. The plan is to be showing them that technology is a tool and not just for fun. Is it working? Not entirely sure but I’m giving it my best shot!
- Give them options. Yes. There are alternatives to screen time and sometimes kids just need to be pushed a little towards an alternative. Miss 7 loves to play on our Tablet. I think she is more addicted to installing and uninstalling games to be honest. BUT give her a balloon, and she’s entertained for hours. Go figure??
- Encourage YouTube to be watched on the TV. So how is this helpful you ask? I think because it creates a different atmosphere. It is still screen time, I know, but it’s a screen that’s further away, and a remote has to be used to navigate it. It is public too, which gives everyone in the house a chance to be monitoring what is being watched, and dob on their sibling if something is inappropriate. And I find that when we try this, the kids watch things together. Small difference, but believe it or not, there is always conversation. It might be about what is on the screen, but it’s conversation, not just mindless watching.
- No Screen before school. End of Sentence.
- Teach them some cool features. Or in Miss 7’s case, let them teach you some cool features. She taught me that you can press the microphone symbol on the google search bar and then say what you’re looking for. Who knew!! She can’t spell yet so this is her alternative to doing a google search for “cute puppies” or ” best girl toys”. Then she presses ‘images’ to see the search as pictures. They are so darn switched on. Miss 13 is a coder in the making, who created a whole new mod in Minecraft by tweaking the script code??? I haven’t taught them much but it gets us talking to each other about a common interest. Which I think is a beautiful thing.
- Social Media is for grown ups. What constitutes a grown up? That’s up to your individual family. In our house, it’s when you get a job and can afford your own phone credit. Which is usually around 16 or so. NO job, NO sim card/credit. We have wifi for anyone to use though. I think personaly, kids don’t need social media. I probably don’t need it either but I use facebook like my personal version of a newspaper. It is the only social media I use. Kids just aren’t equipped to deal with hate. It’s that simple. Disclaimer: In our house, YouTube is not seen as a form of social media so is allowed. But everyone is banned from commenting. Do they break the rules, Yes. Do I find out about it,Yes. How? Everyone in the house uses the same email account to access youtube and play store. I get a notification whenever someone comments on a youtube post. So why don’t the kids just create a secret email account? Not sure, but I’m going to roll with it untill they do.
- Keep Learning. You are never too old to learn, and technology is advancing so fast, we have no choice but to keep learning. This enforces step 1. Lead by example, because you will want your kids to be learning about the changes in technology too. After all, it is in every work place. It is almost as an important skill as any of the others, so don’t get left behind. And if your kids can come to you for advice on technology, then you are setting them up for the future, cause believe me, they will be ringing you for advice on EVERYTHING when they leave home. This is a good foundation for that part of life.
There are probably endless things that can be done to create harmony in your world when it comes to kids and technology and these are a just a few of the concepts we use in our home. And as times change, there will have to be tweaks made along the way.
So keep trying, cause no one will do it for you, and your kids are looking to you to show them the way. So good luck.
Ciao for now.