1. Know What Kids Think – A June study by AVG Technologies surveyed more than 6,000 children, ages 8 to 13 and found that 32 percent of children felt unimportant when their moms and dads were distracted by their phones. In addition, 54 percent of the kids think their parents spend too much time on their phones. Hear that mom and dad? Time to lead by example.
2. A No Phones Meal Deal – Whether you eat as a family at home or in a restaurant, make your meals “phone free”. Make it a family rule that no phones are allowed when the family is eating. No calls, no text, no snaps and no tweets. Most families spend about 20 minutes eating dinner, so I think the world can probably wait that long to hear from you.
3. Suggest Limits – Ever have one of those moments when you look up and the entire family is sitting in the same room staring into their phones or tablets? If so, suggest a time period when phones or tablets can be used. Make sure to leave some time before and afterwards so you can connect as a family, even if it’s watching your favorite TV show together.
4. Put It To Bed – There are numerous medical studies that show why having your child go to bed with their phone or tablet is a bad idea, however, let me pile on. One revealed that kids who go to bed with technology send an average of 34 texts and emails a night after going to bed. Kids need sleep and not midnight texting!
5. Earn The Phone – In the US, kids are getting phones around the age of 6. Now I’m sure parents have good reasons for a phone that young, but to me, that seems a bit early. My bigger issue is that kids are usually just given an expensive phone and plenty of data. Why? Does a 9-year old need a $600 phone, unlimited data and no supervision? For safety reasons, I think getting a child a basic phone that calls and texts is perfect. However, if he/she wants something more, they should earn it by helping out around the house, earning allowance and contributing to the monthly bill.
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What do you think of these tips? Are they spot on or not?