How To Manage Kids Phone Use Without Losing Your Mind (plus free .pdf Guide!) | Heroic Fatherhood

How To Manage Kids Phone Use Without Losing Your Mind (plus free .pdf Guide!)

Published on 7 December 2018 by Charlie King | Filed in Parenting

 Maybe you’ve heard or said these words before:

“Get Off Your Phone!”

“If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you 1,000 times, put that phone away at dinner!”

“Come out of your room and spend time with the rest of the family!”

“How can you guys spend so much time on your phones?”

If any of these phrases sound familiar, you may be the parent of kids with phones. Not that they’re calling anyone. God forbid! They are mostly texting away, gaming or communicating on one app or another, enjoying a perpetual inside joke that we won’t get. This may be true of your teen, tween or pre-teen (the average age that kids receive their first Smart Phone these days is 10.3 years).

Our kids’ use of technology can be worrying.

Our kids can seem secretive about their phones, their friends and their activity online. They shun the idea of any activity that does not include their phones.
When our kids are on their phones it seems like they are 1,000 miles away. To see their behavior when we ask them to get off their phones, it’s like we’re asking them to dig out a sewer drain. It certainly can feel like they prefer their relationship with their phones over their relationship with us.

Like Strangers In Your Home

When kids are on their devices, it can seem like something has taken over their brains. They become closed, and secretive. You wonder whether aliens have come in and replaced your kids with lookalikes. Because these kids may look like they’re yours, but clearly they aren’t your wonderful offspring.

There’s reason for concern

There is a rising tide of empirical evidence showing the negative social, mental health and cognitive impacts of extended technology usage on young adult brains. Many adults have challenges limiting their use of technology, and the growing brains of kids are more vulnerable to the negative impacts of extended technology use, and they have a much lower capacity for self-restraint.

There is a rising tide of empirical evidence showing the negative social, mental health and cognitive impacts of extended technology usage on young adult brains Click To Tweet

We can’t expect our kids to show self-restraint around technology

Technology is a tool of modern life. School work, everyday communication, entertainment and knowledge have all be funneled through this medium. The designers of entertainment-based platforms have designed them (game-ified them) to be rewarding, exciting, affirming and to draw your attention. Frankly, many social apps are design to be addictive.
Their friends are all there, at all hours of the day and night. If you leave your phone even for a moment, you *might* miss something important. It is the tether to our kids’ social lives. Kids are more likely to text each other in school than go over and talk to each other in person. Even being in the same space as their friends is not as exciting as communicating with them digitally.

It’s Time To Take Your Family Back

Figuring out how to manage your kids technology use can seem overwhelming. Where do you start? There are phones, tablets, laptops, computers, wired TVs all over most American homes. What apps are they using? Can we add parental controls? What content are they looking at? It can seem daunting.

I’ve Built Something For You

Instead of wading deep into apps, privacy and parental control settings, I want to share with practical structures you can put in place to take back family time in your home. These are tried and true suggestions that we use in our home with great success.
These steps don’t require your children to suddenly become angels about their technology, nor does it require you to be an overbearing ogre. You neither have to let them “do whatever they want” nor do you have to take their phone and smash it with a large hammer (unless you want to, of course).

In A Nutshell

These 5 steps are simple, actionable and bring technology usage into the light. The guide makes technology use public again, and reminds us it is a tool, not a way of life. No longer squirreled away and hidden, this framework encourages using your technology in a healthy way and puts structures in place to discourage and limit unapproved technology usage.

Feel free to download your Guide HERE today!

 

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