Helping Parents Manage Technology

By September 9, 2019
Kids with Technology

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.

Simple Tips:

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.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • i LOVE IT!! What a great idea!!

    The saying goes, “The fruit does not fall far from its tree”. We cannot blame or hold our children responsible as its the parents responsibility to guide/educate/empower their own children.

    On the other hand we also need to hold our education system responsible as they too have jumped on the convenience wagon and its unfortunately unavoidable. We can however re-introduce simplicity!

    I volunteer as a soccer coach for 15 kids-(boys and girls) ranging between 7 and 16 and i asked all the kids at a team and family meeting one question….

    “HOW MANY OF YOU HAVE EVER WALKED ON GRASS BAREFOOT?”

    Guess how many said, “I DID” NONE!!!

    We are so far out of wack its ridiculous. During the important years of child development, technology needs to be a tool not a necessity!
    We have plenty of time to grow along side technology.

    It all starts from the top. The only way kids will respect the rules if they are proven that the parents and authoritarians follow them.

    The challenge isn’t the fast pace of technology, the challenge is the Addiction!.

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