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5 Techy Tips for Parents

Technology has successfully weaved itself into our everyday lives. There is almost no avoiding it anymore. As adults, we have to take intentional steps to tame technology in our lives. Our kids need us to take those steps and set those boundaries for them. In this post I will share tips for parents to implement when weaving technology into their kids' lives.

Location, location, location

Where do you place the computer your family uses? Is it in a common room of the house? Is it in your kids' bedroom? A good rule of thumb for kids of any age is to keep the primary family computer in a common area of the house with the monitor easily seen by any adult passing by. 

There should not be any technology {phones, tv, video games, etc.} in our kids' bedrooms. Why? Because they will loose much needed sleep. When your phone lights up when you're about to go to bed, what do you do? Yep, I check mine too. If it's an area that we adults struggle with, our kids will too, so we need to draw that line for them.

Passwords

Do you know your teen's social media passwords? You should! Knowing your teen's passwords is an important way to safeguard them from harming themselves and others. I go into more detail on this in a previous post, Social Media Safety for Teens.

Remember that technology for kids is a privilege. Earning privileges comes with resposibilities and boundaries. It's ok to know your kids' password, keep in mind freedom within boundaries. This is just one of those boundaries.

Web Browsers

Any browser that is installed on your family computer needs to have the appropriate filters enabled and locked in at all times. Protect your kids' browsing from deceptive viruses and explicit pop ups by making sure filters are in place.

Along with filters, younger kids should be using a kid-friendly browser exclusively. I share about kid-friendly browsers in my post, Internet Safety for Kids. Go read it! There are free tools for everything I share with you. 

Cell Phones

If your kid has a cell phone, heaven help you! If your kid has a smart phone, I'll be praying for you! I'm not in that stage of life yet, but I can only imagine what you have to go through with them. One way of taming the technology in their lives is to pull the plug on their cell phone for the night.

This goes along with keeping technology out of our kids' bedroom, cell phones should be surrendered to mom/dad at bedtime. Sound harsh? Maybe to some, but again, this is about drawing proper lines and safeguarding our kids. Lines need to be drawn.

Having trouble keeping texts or data usage under control? Did you know that most cell phone companies have control features available? All you have to do is ask! Some may charge, others do not. What can you loose for calling? Overage charges, that what.

Google & YouTube

Some of the most popular sites for homework and fun. Make sure that safety controls are enabled on each of these to keep explicit material out of sight. I give you step by step instructions on how to do that here.
This has been a hot topic for me recently thanks to Scott Burnett from Integrity Computer Concepts, but it is important for us parents to show our kids healthy limits when it comes to letting technology into our lives. Sure I love me a good gadget or app, but I love my son more and would rather let him grumble at me for taking his cell phone at night than have to hear that he's texting in the middle of the night. The best way we can show our kids healthy tech limits is to model it ourselves. Let's do our best to keep devices off at dinnertime or during family time. If we show them that being present is more important than being "caught up", then that is a gift that will keep on giving.

Do you implement these boundaries in your home? Is there something new you learned here that you will try? Let's talk about it in the comments.
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