Are you thinking about getting your kiddos the latest electronic gadget this year for the holidays? I know in our house we go back and forth about what to do because JZ is getting to the age where he wants video games and YouTube constantly. We have set boundaries with JZ when it comes to technology but there are a few things you may want to consider before you wrap up that shiny new gadget! Thanks to Shane Watson, Public Information Officer | Prevention Specialist for notMYkid for the info below!
What Parents Need to Know Before Giving their Child a Phone, Tablet, or Other Device this Holiday Season
Many teens have new phones, tablets, or devices on their holiday wish list. However, notMYkid—Scottsdale based nonprofit—says there are a few simple things parents should do before turning over that new device.
- Make yourself aware– New social media apps are appearing all the time. Take some time to familiarize yourself with apps and determine which ones are appropriate for your child. For each social media account that your child creates, document the account’s username and password. Let them know you will be monitoring the account to keep them safe.
- Set ground rules – Discuss with your child and set clear expectations. Let them know the rules, such as if you expect the phone to be plugged in the kitchen or a central location at night, if they are allowed to take it to school with them, how many minutes or hours a day they are allowed for screen time, etc. Hold them accountable and responsible for their new device.
- Create a technology agreement– Let your child know having a device is a privilege. Create boundaries and rules that everyone agrees upon. Write down the rules and have your child sign the agreement.
- Consider monitoring software – Monitoring software can show you what apps your child is on, their location, and alert you to unsafe activity. notMYkid has a partnership with Bark. Parents can sign up online at Bark.us and receive a free month with the code “notMYkid.”
- Create a connection with your child– The most important form of communication is still spending time face to face with your child. Set aside time each day to talk with your child about what’s happening in their world. Listen more than speaking. Create opportunities for regular activities together that don’t involve technology or screen time.
Founded in 2000, notMYkid is a Scottsdale-based non-profit dedicated to inspiring positive life choices by educating individuals and communities about behavioral health topics such as substance abuse, body image, unhealthy relationships, bullying, depression/self-injury/suicide, and Internet safety. notMYkid’s peer-to-peer model of programs include behavioral health prevention education for youth, parents, and educators; corporate employee wellness programs; and leadership workshops for youth that build self-confidence, resiliency, and ultimately create social and emotional change in youth. For more information visit www.notMYkid.org.
It’s written by Shane Watson Public Information Officer | Prevention Specialist for notMYkid.