Make tech and tech rules part of your family’s resolution list for the new year.
- Check Your Kids’ Privacy Settings
Between malicious software and operating system updates, today’s reliable, safe settings are tomorrow’s wide-open door into the location, wallet, and psyche of your kids. Make a resolution to regularly check the privacy settings of your kids’ devices, and if the end-user license agreement (EULA) is changed, you should read it over. This should also apply to any new apps your kids want to download, as their permissions might be questionable. Make a point of showing kids what you’re looking at, and why you find it worrisome.
- Report Cyberbullying
Most of us are polite, or at least self-aware, on the internet, but there are still plenty of bullies online. Kids should learn that the only way to fight a bully is to go over their heads and expose their behavior, so make a family resolution to report cyberbullying. And don’t think cyberbullying is limited to kids; how many hostile, angry people do you have to deal with on the internet trying to push you around? When dealing with these people, make a point of teaching your kids how you handle it, so they can apply the same lessons.
- Set Up A Regular Tech-Free Schedule
There are some times of the day that tech just shouldn’t be around: Dinner time, bedtime, family game night, and so on. Sit down with your family and work out what times you’d like to be completely focused on each other. Some of these will be non-negotiable, like dinner, but take a close look at where and when you use technology as a family. Do you really need your phones around? Also consider tech-flexible times, where perhaps you can’t stop your tech use but you can limit it.
Set aside the screens this new year.
- Model Good Behavior
On that note, also resolve to model good behavior for each other. Every parent remembers those moments as kids where they were told “Do what I say, not as I do,” and how they chafed against it. By modeling good behavior around screens, like establishing boundaries for work and limiting how and when you use apps, you’ll make it easier for your kids to do the same, especially if they’re getting more permission this year.
- Take Time To Talk
By far the most useful method of reducing your kids’ screen time, or at least your anxiety about what they’re doing, is to make a point to talk to them about what they’re doing online. Ask them what apps they’re using, who their friends are on those apps, what those apps do, and if they have any questions for you. Kids will appreciate you taking the time, and it’ll let you spot and stop problems before they get any worse.
What other resolutions you make will depend on your family. But you’ve got an opportunity to make a fresh start in this new year, so make the most of it. To learn how we can help you keep your resolutions, sign up!