Helping Parents Manage Technology
Does this picture look like the recess at school or your couch in the family room?
For those with kids, it’s a crazy pace of mornings, homework, and endless activity drop offs. My wife and I joke that our job descriptions should no include “Uber” and “Banker” respectively. Each year seems to bring an increasing level of stress for parents and kids alike, especially around technology.
One area parents struggle with is when to buy their kids a phone. According to most kids, EVERYONE else has a phone but him or her. We can all relate. That was us once upon a time complaining about lack of access to Ninja Turtles action figures or the latest video game.
Phones are a whole different can of worms. Never in history have our kids held in their hands greater tools for productivity or deviance. The national average age kids get their first phone is 10.5 years old. Ironically, there seems to be an inverse curve when it comes to allowing technology access. The less technologically savvy the parent, the more permissive they are about access to technology. I took a poll among my integrator friends and found much stricter technology policies in the home vs. their permissive non-tech counterparts. Bill Gates famously held out smartphone privileges for his kids until they were 14.
Many teaching professionals agree that smartphones are detrimental to academic success, so why do so many parents give their kids smartphones at younger and younger ages?
Here are some common objections and possible responses to consider as you put together your parent boot camp:
Objection: All my friends have phones.
Objection: I need a phone to call you after practice is over.
Objection: I’m going to miss out on group texting with my friends.
I’m not saying this is going to be easy. I live in a home with kids, a wife, and many disruptive communications. However, we are all crystal clear on a few key points such as zero technology at the dinner table, no screens in bedrooms, limiting screen time daily using Apple’s Screen Time tools, and the maxim that technology access is a privilege, not a right.
How do you manage access to technology currently in your own home?
Let us know in the comments.
How we can Help:
We offer a safe place to seek counsel and establish a framework for dealing with kids around technology.
We are offering a two-hour session for our clients with school-aged kids where they can come in and learn about how to establish healthy boundaries with kids.
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