When families headed into the coronavirus pandemic nearly a year ago, many parents relaxed their restrictions on screens as a means to not only keep their children entertained and engaged, but also connected to their online classes, teachers, and peers. Now we’re finding that COVID depression is harming kids’ mental health, and excessive social media use is being linked to suicide. But is it too late to pull back and manage screentime?
Not if you have a parent and child technology contract.
Working with Kids
A recent study revealed that the best way to get kids to tell the truth was to NOT spy on them; rather, the easiest way to know what’s going on in your child’s life is to have open and honest discussions with them — especially when it comes to their online lives.
One of the easiest ways to do that is by using Cyberwise’s updated Parent/Child Tech Agreement.
“Before you give a powerful digital device to your child, make sure you have an agreement in place for its safe and responsible use,” Cyberwise advises on their site. “This works best if you turn this into a discussion!”
The Cyberwise Parent/Child Technology Agreement helps adults set boundaries and rules for using devices. It also allows parents to open up a dialogue on multiple important topics — from keeping your passwords private to limiting tech use and the responsibilities for tech ownership. Going deeper, it also helps parents discuss topics like online civility, protecting your online reputation, thinking before you post anything, and letting your kids know they can come to you if anything bad or uncomfortable happens.
Claiming No grownup left behind! in their tagline, Cyberwise is a resource site for adults seeking to help youth use tech safely and wisely. Cyberwise is the companion site to Cyber Civics, a middle school digital literacy program taught in 47 American states and internationally.
You can learn more about Cyberwise on their website.