Technology is a landscape every family needs to navigate.
No two families approach technology in the same way, but encountering it’s various challenges at some point or another is inevitable.
Whether you and your family are new to the tech game, or are digital natives, you’ve probably already encountered a couple of snares in the road.
Here are three tips to make tech work for you and your family to help pave a smooth path…
1. Use it to Bond
Technology gets a bad rep for keeping everyone secluded in their separate corners of the home. The reality is, technology doesn’t need to be an ‘individual’ activity.
Use technology to bond with your kids. Play games, have your kids teach you about their favorite apps, and even special ‘phone hacks’ you can use on your own.
- Set Clear Communication Rules
Communicating through mobile devices is very different from communicating face-to-face or even over the phone. It’s impossible to read tone, and it can be easy to get carried away.
Depending on the age of your child, consider setting clear rules for communicating to each other via devices. A couple things to consider:
- Is your child OK with you commenting on their social media content?
- Are there times when you or your child are not OK with texting? (Eg. school/work hours, when your child is hanging out with friends.)
- Are you OK with ‘angry texting’?
Set clear boundaries, whether that’s that you can be friends with your kids on social media, but can’t comment on their posts, or that you can send a text or two when your child is with friends to coordinate pickup or check in, but conversations are a no-go. Another key tip is to always avoid arguing via text (and this applies outside of your relationships with your kids as well!). Anytime things get tense, make a call or wait to chat in person.
- Use OurPact to Manage Habits & Access
OurPact is the holy grail of digital parenting, and it’s insane that not every single parent in the world knows about this app.
What it does: OurPact allows parents to remotely manage their children’s mobile devices at-a-touch or through automated schedules. During block periods, all Internet and apps disappear instantly, and don’t return until you say they can. It’s magic (but the good kind!).
When You Can Use It: OurPact is great for helping your kids develop healthy screen time habits. It’s popular for making sure devices aren’t a distraction at the dinner table, school, or homework time.
Want your child off their device and at the dinner table? All you have to do is open the app and block access for a defined period of time, say one hour, or ‘Until I Say So.’ Don’t want your child staying up past bedtime playing games instead of sleeping? Set an automated schedule for bedtime hours, and during that time your child’s device will automatically block – no effort required on your end.
How to Get Started: Parents sign up for an account at the OurPact website, or from their iOS App and then pair their kids devices to their account. The whole process takes no longer than a couple minutes.
How much does it cost? OurPact is free. Yup, 100% free! Get started here today!