In this increasingly digitally dependent world, the role of technology in our everyday lives can become complicated. Technology has truly changed how we communicate, entertain, and live. A pediatric report shows that children as young as two-years-old use a device daily. We all want the best for our children and that includes having a healthy relationship with technology. Monitoring our children’s device usage can be a complicated task. You want to be able to give them their privacy but also need to make sure they are using technology safely. Fortunately, there are ways to be able to monitor their activity without violating their privacy. Here are some tips for effectively monitoring your child’s device usage:
- Set A Schedule - Children need structure and that includes the use of their devices. Young children should only have about one hour of screen time each day. Creating a set schedule of when children are allowed to use their devices can help create boundaries early on. This can also help them learn to prioritize. Scheduling screen time shows that it is a time for meaningful device usage and fun, but also shows that there are other important tasks such as homework that needs to be given priority as well.
- Utilize Apps- The best way to monitor your child’s device usage is to use technology! There are many different apps for parents that help to monitor their device usage. Monitoring apps often have different features that you can utilize to help you keep track of their activity. Some apps help to also limit the amount of time they are able to access the device. You can get reports of what kinds of apps they are using and what they are using the device for, so you can make sure that they are practicing safe technology usage
- Discuss Responsible Tech Use - A great way to make sure your children are using their devices responsibly is to talk to them about good technology practices. Having discussions with your children should also include asking them what they think are good ways to use their devices. An open discussion can help them understand what yours expectations are when it comes to how they are using their devices. Additionally, you should discuss with your children about sharing personal information online. Together, you can create a list of family guidelines when it comes to using devices. Educating your children on responsible technology use can help them be open with sharing their activities on their devices with you.
- Activate Privacy Settings - Another great way to monitor your children’s device usage is to utilize privacy settings on apps and the device itself. Many apps and websites such as Facebook have many privacy settings that can help you protect your child’s information. You can also setup specific settings such as location tracking options and post sharing.
- Create A Contract - Creating a technology usage contract with your children is a great way to set boundaries and allows them to be open with what they need to use their devices for. There are many online drafts and templates you can use to help create your family contract. This also can help them understand the importance of healthy device usage. Taking something seriously like device usage shows them how impactful technology can be and how it can be used effectively.
Using devices is inevitable in today’s technology driven world. Children need to learn healthy online practices that will keep them safe and help curb dependence on technology in the future.