Digital technology has become an excellent tool to make and enhance social relationships, however, it can also expose users to risk. These tips from Challenge Success explore how parents can lead by example and help their children maintain balance, safety and positive relationships in the digital age.
Restrict the use of devices in the car.
Car rides offer a great opportunity for conversation with your child. Answering the phone in the car can inadvertently send a message that a conversation with the person on the other end of the phone is more important than a conversation with them.
Prohibit devices at the dinner table.
Dinner time should be family time. Model the behavior you would like your child to practice. Show them that they are the priority at the dinner table.
Talk with your children about appropriate online conduct.
Even if your child’s usage is innocent, it’s likely that they’ve witnessed poor behavior by others.
Don’t text your kids during the school day.
It’s distracting when parents text their child during the school day. Most importantly, make sure to abide by school cellphone rules.
Avoid reaching for your phone first thing in the morning.
What you see in your inbox immediately places you in a reactive mode. Give yourself a chance to create your own priorities for the day.
Have your children disengage from technology at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour, before bed.
Studies have shown that screen time right before bed is not conducive to a good night’s rest.
Set a time in the evening for all devices to be shut down.
Not only will your child get more sleep, but this “curfew” will also help support time management skills.
Don’t use your phone as an alarm clock.
If a phone is near the bedside, your child will be tempted to respond to texts and social media, interrupting sleep.
Look through your child’s texts and let them know you’re doing it.
This teaches your child that their online activity is never truly private.
Show interest in what your child is doing online — they are often doing something productive and would value your genuine interest and support. This will also help them to feel comfortable telling you if they are a victim of cyber-bullying.
For more parenting resources, visit bchd.org/familiesconnected.