We know that when it comes to digital parenting issues, every family is different. But there are some commonalities with the challenges that families are facing when it comes to screen time. So, here are three common digital parenting issues and how you can handle them.
1. Screen time is always a battle. We fight about it non-stop.
You’re not the only ones! In fact, that’s why Bill Connors, Sofia Family President and Chief Product Officer, created Sofia Family in the first place. Because no one likes fighting. If you can create a set of guidelines and expectations for your family members when it comes to screen time, then you’re going to decrease the fighting pretty much instantly. Make sure to involve all the family members in the decision making, and cover topics like what happens when it’s time to get off screens (if they don’t argue, are they rewarded?), what happens to screens at night, in the morning, and during meal time, and how much time you’re allowing them to have on a daily basis.
2. My kids keep circumventing the screen time controls!
Kids are pretty smart, that’s for sure. But while this sounds like technology or gadget issue, it’s actually just a simple parenting issue. If you’ve set up rules or guidelines about how technology is to be used in your home and your kids continue to break those rules or guidelines, then they’re telling you that they’re not responsible enough to have those gadgets. Before you take the gadgets away, it’s worth talking to them about what they’re trying to accomplish, and re-evaluate some of your rules or guidelines. Are they age appropriate? Are they reasonable based on your child’s responsibility and trust in other areas? It might be that you need to take a hard look at your rules to see if they’re reasonable and age appropriate.
3. They’re on their phones and gadgets way too much.
This is a common digital parenting issue, and one that creates a divide between digital natives (the kids) and non-digital natives (the parents). As Gen-Xers (or older), we grew up in a very binary world — screens or no screens — but our kids have an entirely different experience; their digital usage is much more fluid. They may be reading a book on their phone, or eating a meal and showing you a photo on their phone, or watching a video on YouTube while trying to figure out a homework problem. However, that doesn’t mean kids don’t need offline time. The challenge is ensuring that you’re supporting those soft fascinations (hobbies, remember those?) and giving them ample time and space to explore them.