“Put your phone away when I’m talking to you.”
One assumes this is a parent talking to their child, right? As it turns out, kids think that too.
A key study examining how kids view tech rules and expectations at home reveals kids want tech rules!
So let’s cut to the chase and explore the 3 tech rules kids want in their lives.
#1 A clear-cut yes/no on apps and websites
Surprised? So were we!
We assumed kids wanted access to ALL age-appropriate apps and websites, but the research reveals families found it easier to block certain apps or websites entirely. This was preferred to introducing tech rules prohibiting access to apps and websites at certain times.
When we think about it, it makes sense. Kids crave structure and routine — even if they do occasionally rebel against it. A clear-cut yes and no is both easier to enforce and adhere to, especially if you can block these websites and apps directly. (Hint: you can.)
RELATED: Want to get your kids focusing on activities outside of their screens?
#2 An approval system to help us all ‘stop & think’
Did you know that when warned the material they were about to post was offensive, kids willingness to post that message decreased from a whopping 71.1% to only 4.7%?
Tweens and teens brains are still developing the frontal lobe that gives them the ability to recognise and pre-empt consequences from their actions. Having an approval system to make kids ‘stop & think’ helps them develop this ability naturally. It also highlights any negative behaviour so they learn to recognise it for themselves.
But that’s not all. The study also revealed that kids wanted a family approval system to stop their parents posting photos of them on social media without their permission. In fact, twice as many kids as parents were concerned about family members oversharing personal information about them online, especially on social media. Kids, in particular, found the content embarrassing and felt frustrated when their parents continued to do it.
#3 Tech rules apply to the WHOLE family
Perhaps the most telling result was that kids want their parents “present” in certain situations. For example, when a child is trying to engage in conversation with their parents.
Admit it, we’ve all been guilty of glancing at our smartphones or tablets when our kids talk to us. The rules “practice what you preach” aren’t lost on our kids. They follow our example, meaning it’s just as important for parents to moderate technology use at home. Failure to do so can lead to frustration, arguments and — ultimately — screen time tantrums.
By implementing the tech rules above, we set the standard for screen time success at home. And let’s face it, it’s far easier to implement rules our kids secretly want to adhere to. Even if this means holding ourselves as parents accountable.
RELATED: Want to motivate your kids to treat screen time as a privilege?
What tech rules do you have in your household? Tell us in the comments below!