Summer is just a couple of weeks away from sneaking up on us! The kids are out of school, which means they will have a lot of free time on their hands. You might be thinking they’ll play outside with friends or go to a few summer camps, but summertime for them means more time to play video games or surf the web.
The best way to encourage your kids to make the most of their summer is to layout expectations and rules when it comes to the use of technology while they are home for the summer:
Communicate your expectations
As a parent, it is up to you to make sure that your kids know your expectations when it comes to their tech usage. Discuss what the appropriate usage is as far as time spent on social media and their behavior while on the internet.
Specify their phone usage hours
Determine appropriate times for your kids to start and stop using their phone. Make sure their phones are completely shut off at night so ringing and buzzing are not interrupting their sleep. It is also a good idea to establish “no tech zones” where there is to be no phone usage, such as the dinner table.
Plan activities to limit internet usage
It is summertime, and your kids should be outside enjoying their freedom and hanging out with their friends. Signing them up for fun summer camps and encouraging physical activity is a fun way to distract them from using the internet while giving them social skills outside the school environment.
Create a “phone contract” between you and your kids
The point of a contract is to lay out all of the expectations and guidelines of your kids cell phone usage on a piece of paper with both of your signatures. That way there won’t be any blurred lines or confusion as to what you are expecting from them and the consequences that come along with the misuse of their devices.
Monitor the friends they are making online
It has become a habit of teens to expand their social media network and become friends with people they do not personally know online. Take the time to screen the friends that your teen is making online.
Be a good role model
You should be setting a good example for your kids. Since you are asking your children to spend less time in front of a screen, you should be doing the same thing. When you are spending time with your kids, resist the urge to check emails and social media, especially while on vacation.
Social media is a great way for kids to keep in touch with their friends and share their experiences during their summer vacation, but too much internet and social media usage can have a negative impact on them.
Creating usage guidelines can make sure that they are making the most of their summer break, while also keeping them safe.
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