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Whether you like it or not, technology is a huge part of the everyday lives of pre-teens and teenagers in today’s society. Since we can’t protect our children everything, we have to develop guidelines to keep them safe while using the internet–whether it’s on a smart phone, tablet or computer. Here are six tips to keeping technology in check at your house.
- Make Technology Free Zones
At our house, the dinner table is our technology free zone. Dinner is a time to enjoy each others company without disruptions from texts and phone calls.
- Have a “Parking Lot”
In your house, have a set place–away from bedrooms–where all phones, tablets and computers need to “park” for the night. This assures that your children will not be up all hours of the night texting, Facebooking or chatting with friends.
- Limit time on Technology
Just like limiting TV time, you want to limit the amount of time your child is spending in front of all screens. A screen is a screen whether it’s a computer or a TV.
- Create Accounts and Passwords Together
If your child is old enough and begging for accounts on things such as Facebook or Instagram, set it up together. Create and know all of your children’s passwords and check the profiles often! Set everything on the most private settings and tell your child that you must approve all friends and followers.
- Check Electronics Regularly
There is nothing wrong with checking your teenager’s texts, emails or social networking accounts. And there is nothing wrong with your child knowing that their phone, computer or tablet is subject to routine parent check ups! They can be as unhappy as they want about it, but it is important that they know you are monitoring them. You can even install parenting software on some of them
- Never Hesitate
If you’re having doubts about something or don’t want your child to have a Facebook account, don’t hesitate to say no! You are the parent and just because your child says, “Everyone else has Facebook” doesn’t mean everyone does.