Tablets and phones. Catnip for kids!
If you argue with your kinderlings over persistent, excessive screen use, then I need to put my arm around you because I feel your frustrations, fears and concerns.
It’s tricky for youngsters to self-regulate screen use, to process enhanced reality; to think two steps ahead as to whether something is ‘safe’. Crikey us adults find these tasks tricky, so it’s going to be trickier for youngsters.
Thankfully, there’s an ocean of information out there which aims to support us in guiding our wonderful kids through this minefield, allowing them to, hopefully, safely explore the digital world and enjoy the magic that online exploration can bring.
And thankfully, there’s a unified voice. School staff do an truly excellent job in delivering guidance to youngsters and I’m always so impressed with, and grateful for, the persistent messages delivered in school and the time staff allocate to this.
A few years ago, the eldest (then almost 11) was given the house tablet to use as her own. However, before the ceremonial handover, it was worth discussing and agreeing some guidelines that she could follow when messaging, emailing and searching online.
We were keen to have these guidelines written down as a reference tool. But I wanted to make the written narrative a little more appealing, more than just a list of dos and don’ts which, let’s face it, wasn’t going to engage a 10 year old.
So I created a small poster for her to keep on her desk. Now, I’m no graphic designer (can you tell?!). It’s pretty basic. It’s nothing fancy. But this may actually be all that is needed.
Now, I’m certainly not here to tell you what your own household screen rules should be. You’ve got that covered already. You’re a fantastic parent!
But if you too would like to make your own written narrative a little more appealing, then you might find this template useful. Device rules & guidelines
- Simply, download the template by clicking on the link above
- Open the document in Word
- Click on the text box, delete text and type in your own guidelines (I told you that it was a basic document).
- Print onto card
- Cut to size.
Why not reduce the size slightly, print and cut a smaller version if you’d prefer specific guidelines for phones over tablets.
And then they’ll follow these guidelines without discussion! Complete compliance. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy! Right?
If only. In fact, not a day goes by in our house without some heated discussion over screen time.
So if this helps in a small, smidgen of a way, great! And I’m in no doubt, that I will still certainly envisage some failing as a parent in this area.
I still envisage some degree of acceptance by our excitable kids.
I still envisage more battles.
I still envisage some agreement with them on the importance of having guidelines.
I still envisage some wine to ease the frustration around this. I even envisage adding some chocolate to this mix.
In fact, I happily envisage cake on the scene too #thingsarelookingup …Uh oh…I digress onto sweet treats for me, me, me.
Parenting makes me hungry!
Good luck with the screen-time battles fellow parents. Let’s do this!