It’s no secret that kids are savvy to technology — often more than their parents are. And while digital and social media can help with early learning, they also come with a lot of risks, including negative effects on sleep, attention and learning and the higher incidence of depression. The truth is, parents must develop a tech use plan for their families. But where do you begin? With a contract? “No use of the internet on school days except for homework!” “Screen time limits to 60 minutes a day, except on Saturday!” It’s a start. Some parents make exceptions for kids who get good grades, but when grades flounder, the tech is usually the first to go. And when your kid is online, do you really know what he’s doing?
Take Matters Into Your Hands
Brian Houseman is the author of Tech Savvy Parenting (Randall House; 2014) and other books. He’s also the creator of “Screen Smarts,” a 52-week online parenting course that can help you think through and create boundaries for your family’s tech. “Screen Smarts” includes videos, podcasts, articles and downloadable resources to help you feel empowered in this important parenting terrain. For $49 you can subscribe to “Screen Smarts” and start getting ahold of your family’s user habits. Visit techsavvyparenting.com and scroll down on the homepage to find “Screen Smarts.” Houseman is also available in the Middle Tennessee area for parent workshops, student programs and teacher presentations.