If a child cannot distinguish between times, places, and spaces where they should not use their own smartphone or tablet, then the parents are largely responsible. Where is the problem most likely? In the wide, even unlimited access of the child to new technologies and in the absence of rules for their use. Why is domestic regulation of the use of digital blessings so important and can we be consistent in our decisions? Family life versus mobile devices.
Home rules for using digital media – why is it worth it
60.6% of respondents admitted that there are no rules related to the use of smartphones and the Internet in their homes, and 35% of children believe that parents have never talked about the harmfulness of abusing digital benefits (Research conducted in 2015-2016, among 22,000 people between the ages of 12 and 18).
Meanwhile, one of the building blocks of the so-called digital responsibility of our children is proper modeling of attitudes in the everyday use of digital benefits. Why are such rules important?
- They build a child’s sense of security by creating daily rituals relating to new technologies.
- Their set constant boundaries for the child, which they know and understand, develop healthy habits related to e-hygiene (which will pay off in their adult life with technology), reduce the sense of stress (there is time to rest from the informational overload causing fatigue of the young mind).
- They stimulate the creative search for leisure time activities, and can also contribute to reducing family conflicts thanks to clear rules that everyone is obliged to follow.
- Their help you spend more time together without the distraction of smartphones.
Some interesting ideas to apply “immediately”
These rules constitute a framework in the use of digital communication devices and are understood as such – they are a natural consequence of the rituals implemented in the family. There are really many ideas to regulate our daily coexistence in the vicinity of digital media:
- Not using digital devices during shared meals,
- Not taking your smartphone to bed with you,
- Careful and consistent monitoring of the time spent on using the Internet,
- Possibility of using digital media after fulfilling home or school duties,
- Use of digital media only in safe places,
- Not using mobile devices during social meetings,
- Joint use of digital display devices to solve a specific problem,
- Showing positive aspects related to the use of new technologies, such as saving time or money.
- When establishing family rules for our coexistence with mobile devices, there are several important things to keep in mind:
- All family members co-decide about the rules at home – the parent remains the leader in the process of creating them,
- Established rules apply to all household members,
- The rules are consistently followed, everyone knows the consequences of breaking them,
- The rules know to everyone,
- Ideally, they should write down and place in a visible place,
- The rules apply not only to the direct use of digital media but also extend to other activities undertaken by family members in their free time, study, and work.
What can you do as a parent?
Together with your child, establish the rules of everyday use of digital media. By accessing the parenting tab, you can download a template of the domestic code of responsible use of digital media.
- When creating rules, make sure your child has a sense of being influenced by their shape. But remember – the last sentence is yours.
- Follow the rules agreed with your child. Only then will you make it easier for your child to obey them.
- Remember not to punish your child for breaking the rules. Behind each deviation from the established rules, there is an important need for your child.
- Remember that the rules do not fix and are subject to change as such.
Remember that the problem of misuse of digital media by children begins when the only world available to a child remains the digital world. No rules of home use of digital screen devices will replace your presence and attention for your child.