Ever since each child got a private mp3 player and then a cell phone; things started to get complicated. Family time started shrinking and there has been a big emphasis on privacy. Now it seems almost impossible to get children off their devices – video games, smartphones, tablets, laptops and what not. But before the situation gets out of hand, you need to consider some home rules and enforce them right away. Here is our list of some home rules you could start with.
1. No Video Gaming for more than 3 hrs. at a Stretch
Boys love video games – we all know it but some take it way too seriously. Studies show kids spend more 6.3 hours playing video games. Needless to say that this much video gaming is sure to mess up with their eye-sight, fitness, appetite and grades but it also makes them socially awkward and withdrawn. Apart from these health and social issues, kids pick up all the bad words from these online video games where they play with other anonymous players who’re not their age even. They can get used to violence even.
Although you can’t possibly bar them from playing games altogether but you can certainly put time limits. They need to take breaks and obviously; no games during homework hours. But how are you going to reinforce this rule? You can’t be home all the time. Here come the parental control apps like FamilyTime that let you put digital screentime locks on their phones and tabs so they can’t play games for a certain time period. You can even block certain games on their devices too.
2. Dinner Table is a No-Device Zone
Now this rule is not limited to the kids alone, we need to mind it equally. Dinner time is supposed to be the time when families sit together, share meals and a few good laughs; not a time when you all busy checking your emails, responding to Facebook comments and watching silly cat videos. So make sure that you practice this rule before announcing it to you family. Nobody should be allowed to bring their phones or tabs on the table let alone use them during the meals. You can pre-define the dinner time on your FamilyTime – Dashboard and watch your kids get frustrated because their devices won’t just work! Learn how to do this little magic in full detail here.
3. No YouTube Access During Sleep-overs After 11
Teens love sleep-overs and these pajama parties tend to become really naughty. While there is no harm in letting your kids have some privacy and night fun but it’s good to put a few things straight. For a start, you could tell them that YouTube is off-limits after 11 pm. And if you catch them using it, you won’t have an option but to change the Wi-Fi password.
4. Digital Detox Day Every Week or Two
We’re so engrossed with our work and devices; we don’t realize what all this digital overdose doing to our brains and social skills. Trust me; you’d notice how badly you needed a break from all these gadgets and Internet once you start having a digital detox day at least once in two weeks. Plan a picnic or simply have a BBQ in your backyard but these should be only one rule: no digital devices! Talk to each other and forget everything else!
5. Real Conversation Before Chat
How much annoying it gets when you’re discussing something important with your children and half way through you realize they haven’t been listening because they’re busy with their phones. Yes, it’s darn annoying and once your kids grow up with the same habit, it’s not going to be appreciated by others, too. So from the start, make it a rule to give priority to someone talking to them: real people before online buddies.
So tonight when you meet on dinner table, talk about making some home rules with your kids and see how it fares. Even better; take some suggestions from them- it’s going to be fun!