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Five "Back to School"
Rules for Technology:
Even Technology Needs Back to
School Rules, Too...
As our children
press through the grades, as they get older, more and
more of their school work is completed online.
Homework assignments, research, and collaborating with
their classmates back to school rules for technology
on projects are now all completed through the Web
instead of at the library — like we used to when we
Tablets, and mobile phones have become a necessity for
tweens and teens today, they also can be major
can lead to harm (in the case of bullying), Poor
school performance, violent behavior, sleep pattern
disturbances and obesity. All of which can all be
linked to an increase usage of screen time,
particularly if you include the television. It can be
tough for parents to determine when their kids are
using technology for school and when it’s just for fun
— and sometimes for both at the same time. No kid
wants their mom or dad looming over their shoulders
all the time.
can a parent do to secure their child stays on track
now that school is back in session?
Set limits on
accessibility to online access and other electronics. Most kids have a hard time resisting the urge
to respond to a text or social media comment
regardless of when it is received, and some teens are
on their phones at all hours of the night. In fact,
24/7 accessibility to a cell phone or other
electronics can severely impact the quality and
quantity of sleep your child gets. Some teens think
browsing social media or the Web helps them relax
before bed, but usually it is the exact opposite.
Insist your child charges their device in another room
during the time in which they should be asleep. Take
it a step farther by reducing usage during meal times
or other family events as well.
Control the wireless. It’s hard to go anywhere in today’s world where
you can’t access Wi-Fi, but parents still have the
upper hand when it comes to their own home. If you
find your child is getting distracted by technology,
change your Wi-Fi codes daily to ensure he completes
what he needs to finish at home before going online.
Some parents make sure their kids complete certain
chores or finish non-technology school assignments
prior to getting the codes for the day. Not
technologically savvy? Just unplug or move the
wireless router when you don’t want it in use.
usage. There is a fine line between prying, spying and
monitoring your child’s online activity as your child
gets older, and it is really a family choice in
regards to how involved you want to be in your son or
daughter’s online world; but at the minimum, parents
should find a monitoring tool that gauges how much
time your child is spending online, on social media
sites, and texting. Teenagers often respond better to
setting limits when you explain why too much screen
time or exposure to certain media content is harmful
(For Example”, too much social media can lower
self-esteem or overexposure to violent video games can
increase aggression), it is advisable to share why you
are concerned and how much time they are actually
spending on their electronic devices.
There is a good
chance they are surprised.
multi-tasking. Multi-tasking is difficult for anyone, but for
tweens and teens whose brains are not yet fully
developed, it is a bad habit to start (and even more
difficult to break). Discourage the use of too many
electronic devices at the same time. Watching a movie?
Put the iPad down. Researching information online?
Take the headphones off. Doing homework? Turn off the
phone. The less distractions available, the more
efficient and effective your child will be at the task
Model good behavior.
No matter how tempted we are to check e-mail, the
latest text, Facebook, or whatever social media we
have, it is important to show our kids that the
“always on” world of technology isn’t healthy for our
brains, as children or adults.
Your kids are
still watching your behavior even though it’s not
always obvious, it will eventually show in their
behavior When you make rules for electronics for the
kids, try to follow them yourself.
And the old adage’, “I make the rules, I can break the
rules” is not good parenting…
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