I have to say that connection with the outside world is becoming more and more overwhelming. Children are learning how to build their knowledge of social media at an alarming rate. Who can agree with me on this? It seems as though we all go off to our corners every day, school, work, life, and as soon as we come back together everyone’s still distracted by their electronics. I am guilty of using my phone during dinner to check email, or sending a text during a family movie. It all really needs to stop and we have had many family talks regarding this topic. Here’s a few things we’ve implemented in our home to help bring the family closer together when the world is pushing us apart.
First let me start by saying if you feel this way too, you are not alone. Many households across America deal with this issue every day. I have friends who are struggling to get a hold on creating family time when all their children want to do is be entertained by their iPads, phones, and Xbox games.
Second, as you may or may not know, these forms of electronics can become sources our kids use to research information on sex, drugs, relationships, and even porn. All issues that are at an all time high as well right now. I heard on the radio not too long ago that the average age of a child being exposed to porn is eight years old. I don’t know about you but this is scary. With all the stalking that goes on the web, this is definitely one way I feel can be avoided by educating our children and monitoring what they are are exposed to.
Now, don’t get me wrong we all have access to electronics in our home. Phones, iPads, laptops, Xbox, YouTube, and television. However, my husband and I have really sat down and developed some rules for our children no matter what age they are. Our children range in age from 12-18 and all of them abide by these rules.
One last thing, I want to encourage you with is that your home is your home and no one knows your children like you do. Read these, use what you may, and tweak them to define your goals and values of your home. Ultimately, as parents our best interest is for our children and educating them on things of this world. I know in our case, God has a lot to do with our values and how we choose to parent. We are not perfect, but always seek to please God in all we do.
*Just so you know the ages of our children, our twin 12 year old boys have an Xbox and laptops each and our 18 year old daughter has a laptop and an iPhone.
1. Limit the amount of time on electronics by setting certain hours for play or engagement.
2. A max of 1 1/2 hours a day after school is allowed. And only after homework has been done and checked.
3. Place pass words on certain sites period and/or during certain hours.
4. Know the username and passwords of all their social media sites.
5. We have a rule where we can go in anytime and browse their sites for inappropriate material.
6. Never allow doors to be closed while on laptops, phones, or playing Xbox.
7. All electronics must be turned off an hour before bedtime.
8. We use their behavior and grades to allow for extra play on the weekends.
9. Charging ALL electronics must be done downstairs in the living room. No chargers in rooms except during the day.
10. No electronics allowed during family time or at the dinner table.
11. We designate family time every Friday night with usually a movie and pizza night. Sometimes games, hiking, travel, etc. No electronics except cameras for pictures allowed.
12. If we find there is inappropriate behavior, words, pictures on any social media site or stores on the phone or laptops, it is at our discretion to take them away until further notice. We also make them write an essay on what they did and how they feel we should remedy the issue.
13. We always remain open to suggestions to how they feel they should be rewarded or punished. We don’t always immediately take away their electronics, even though this is our first instinct.
14. Love. Love. Love. Nothing replaces your love and understanding for situations they may be facing.
Side note: Always remember not to only implement rules, but to teach them the possible dangers of this world.
Another side note: We have found that by implementing these rules, everyone knows what to expect, boundaries are created, and it allows room for kids to come and ask questions and feel comfortable about things they may see without feeling ashamed.
P. S. (Okay now I’m being silly.)
Remember too much of a bad thing can be dangerous for anyone. Just because we are adults doesn’t mean we can’t fall into this trap of loving our electronics more than what’s in front of us. Our family!
So…..now I’d love to know if any other families are frustrated with social media/ electronics with their children? How do you or are you dealing with this in your home? I also adore connecting with other mommas raising kids, and even moms who are done raising children to share some amazing wisdom.
Leave me a comment below sharing your journey with this topic.