Children and Technology, child using phoneOne of the biggest challenges that I hear from my peers and the parents of children I work with, is about placing boundaries around technology use. Having grown up with Pacman and only being allowed to watch 30 minutes of television a day, it can be difficult to decide how much is enough, what technology is allowed freely and what should be monitored. We are a different generation to our children and therefore it can be a lot to get our heads around.

We know using technology can certainly enhance a child’s learning depending on what they are using it for. But how much is beneficial and required?

I am sure many of you reading this will also worry about addiction (especially when it comes to gaming). There never seems to be a natural end of a game – with a TV programme it ends after 30 minutes and then the TV can be switched off.

So, how do we allow technology to be a part of our children’s life so that both parent and child are happy with the usage?

Tips For Agreeing Technology Use

  1. Talk together about how/when your child wants to use technology and then decide together what you both feel is reasonable. Perhaps technology little but often or only on Sundays for x amount of time.
  2. Decide how the time is going to be monitored and the consequences if they do not adhere to the time agreed.
  3. Agree on what your child is going to use the technology for. What games or other interaction are you happy about them using?
  4. Don’t back down on the boundaries agreed.
  5. Reward your child when they stick to the boundaries. A reward that your child does not know about and is not related to technology.

It is not easy putting in the boundaries but by working together it is possible to come up with something everyone is happy with. Whatever your child does in your home will become part of their routine and you will be able to monitor it particularly when it comes to phone use on playdates in your home. We can’t monitor technology when they are out of the home but we can only hope they will observe our boundaries there too.