Managing your kid’s summertime access to technology.
The availability of technology in today’s culture forces us to choose who is allowed access to our home and our children and with what parameters that access is granted. During the summer when school is out and kids have more free time, the decisions regarding media and managing it are even more crucial.
1. BE VIGILANT: Be alert and pro-active when considering the technology diet of your children. Ie: Know the ratings, research the content and consider the message.
2. GET SMART: Face it, our culture is dangerous. The “I am not tech savvy” mentality or “I don’t have time to learn that” attitude is no longer affordable. Learn how to navigate Parental Controls. If you are technologically challenged, recruit a techy friend as a tutor or visit the Geek Squad.
3. PROMOTE DIALOGUE: Turn your monitoring minutes into teachable moments by engaging your children about questionable messages, language or images. Focus on asking open ended questions that lead to scriptural principals on which they can stand.
4. OFFER A BALANCED DIET: Two hours with the X-Box can be countered by two chapters in a summer reading assignment. A TV show or movie may be complimented by a family game or group activity. Be careful that your child does not become addicted to the indoors. Being creative with family outings, camps and vacation can lead to a healthy respect for and understanding of God’s creation.
5. SET BOUNDARIES: Kids need concrete parameters. Even amidst objection and complaints, kids crave a concrete parameter from which to operate. Verbal instruction will suffice for most guidance, but for best results, consider communicating your expectations in writing.
Summer can be as challenging for parents as it is fun for kids, but applying a few practical tips can make it more enjoyable for everyone.
A few helpful websites:
Ÿ www.familysafemedia.com Ÿ www. tvboss.org
Ÿ www.focusonthefamily.com Ÿ www. tvguidelines.org
Ÿ www.safeeyes.com Ÿ www. pluggedinonline.com