As parents, we set many rules for our children that we would never do ourselves. Sometimes we set rules for our kids that we don’t follow ourselves. Typically the reason is that our kids aren’t old enough to do what we are doing, like use the stove. Other times we set rules to help teach them proper habits, but we rarely follow them ourselves.
We set time limits for our children on their devices, however, we rarely follow the same rules ourselves. There are a few other rules that we enforce for our kids, that I’m sure our kids would love if we followed as well sometimes.
Adults can easily slide into tech addiction because it is just so fun and easy to pick up your phone and use it. Setting time limits for ourselves as well as our children can be extremely beneficial. There are programs you can install to give you reports on how long you are using your device or apps to give you a good idea on where you can cut back. You can also use apps to limit your own time, like Boomerang, or an app specific to battling tech addiction like Space or Thrive.
We expect our children to pay attention when we are talking to them. Often we will tell them to put down their device or toy so we can talk to them. It is only fair that our kids would expect the same from us. When your child is trying to show you something or talk to you about something, make sure your device is down and you do not pick it up during the conversation. When you aren’t fully paying attention to your children when they want to talk to you, they will start to feel like you care more about your device than you do about them.
Work Before Play
Our children are not allowed to play with toys, with friends or even on their devices until they do their chores first. How often do we just say we’ll check our email really quick, and then 2 hours later we are still on the computer. If we set the same rules for ourselves that we do for our kids, we can get our work done BEFORE we start playing on our devices.
No Devices In the Bedroom
Keeping devices out of the bedroom is a great rule to set for your kids. Even with good filters and parental controls, kids can still find trouble on their devices. Making sure the kids are always using their devices in open areas can help keep them safe. This can also be a great rule to set for yourself, but not for the same reasons. Your bedroom can be a great place for peace and quiet, or to connect with your spouse. When you are both sitting in bed looking at your individual devices, you aren’t chatting with your spouse about the day, or connecting in other ways.
Following a few of the rules you set for your children, yourself, can really help you make real connections in your life and allow you to set a great example for your kids that will help them follow the rules too.