Is it good or bad that our kids are spending a LOT more times on screens in the current pandemic?
What is “good digital parenting” in the current circumstances of student homeschooling, parent homeworking and families keeping kids entertained and socially-connected?
Amidst all of the challenges we are all learning to manage, now is also an incredible time to think more deeply about our family relationship with technology.
Below is a brilliant conversation hosted by the Family Online Safety Institute.
Here at Habyts, we have always believed the following:
- One size does NOT fit all when it comes to tech parenting. Every family is uniquely special, as is every child, and parents should feel OK to experiment with ways of managing digital usage.
- Kids need play in ALL its varied forms (e.g. physical, social, creative, unstructured play, digital, etc). Realise that all forms of digital play are NOT all created equal (e.g. passive consumption versus active creation versus social interaction).
- Consistency is essential to teaching good habits and helping kids feel secure in uncertain times. Parents can build flexibility and choice into schedules, routines and limits so that kids feel a sense of control and self-management.
- Screen time is still a privilege to be earned…not an entitlement to be expected. It helps kids to learn how to do the things they don’t want to first (delayed gratification).
- Parents have more influence than they realise on screen time habits, in terms of how they talk to their children about tech use, the example they set, and the routines they establish.
- Technology should work FOR your family (not vice-versa). Remember that there are many ways to set digital routines and set digital access to suit YOUR family (a detox day, a “when/then” approach, etc).