You know when we bring home a pet and it becomes a part of our families? It won’t be too random to compare our family devices (PC’s) to our pets. It is a machine but all our family members spend so much time with it that it becomes a part of our families. But what happens when we share this device with our kids and they have to share it amongst themselves? One word to perfectly describe the situation is-‘chaos’.
Today, every house is a home for at least 5 screens- PC’s, smart phones, tablets, IPads etc. Internet connects people but ironically it is creating distance between us. To elaborate, most of these screens are multipurpose devises i.e. our kids don’t spend as much time with us as they used to before. And why would they? They have a TV, music player and a gaming console- all wrapped up beautifully in their smart phones.
When was the last time you had a family movie night or ate dinner together without your kids being distracted by their phones?? If you have think for over a minute to answer this question, you really need to set and implement a set of rules in your house and you’ve got to do it ASAP!!
Here are some suggestions for you to consider while setting house rules:
Set up a family tech room:
Set your family device in a high-traffic area of your house i.e. a room where movement is more- near the living room or a space which is not enclosed. This ensures easy supervision.
Establish electronic curfews. Having electronic “blackouts” encourages family time. This makes sure you spend time doing things as a family together. Turn your Wi-Fi routers off for at least an hour every day. Make your kids turn off their screens well before an hour of their respective bedtimes.
Technology is not welcome to the table:
Having a peaceful meal together is very important as a family. Mealtime is the hour where you’re supposed to bond with your kids over food, have conversations, check in, share family stories etc. so don’t let technology jeopardize this. Make sure your kids understand that having gadgets while dinner is a strict no- no.
When you have one device being shared among the family, it is always wise to come up with a schedule which allows every member to use the device for a decent and reasonable amount of time. This ensures that there is no chaos in the house and hence lays foundation of a peaceful ambience.
Even the Universe seeks Balance:
It’s not fair to cut off technology completely. While too much of it is hazardous, too little of it dangerous too. Your kids should be able to use technology effectively in order to function normally in our society. Hence, learn to balance screen time with other physical pursuits.
Practice what you preach:
Last but the most important; make sure you set a good example for your kids to follow. Whatever rules you make, follow them diligently. If you don’t put obey your own rules, why would they?
Every family is different and hence it is important that you come up with rules that are reasonable and easy to follow.