As kids become tweens, they tend to want to keep more things private; shutting bedroom doors more often, not sharing as much about their day as they used to. As loving parents, we want to respect our tweens growing independence and give them the space needed to make some of their own decisions.
However, the online world is not the place to immediately allow children privacy and independence. The online world, for all the wonderful things it offers, is also pock-marked with suggestive and inappropriate content, tricky algorithms, and intentionally designed to keep our kids distracted, hooked, and insecure.
Until your tween has demonstrated that they can handle screen time in a safe and responsible way, privacy and independence are simply not an option.
Think of teaching your child to drive a car. It’s your job to make sure your child knows how to drive safely and responsibly before allowing them to drive on their own. Your child goes through driver’s ed class, practices driving with you coaching them in the car through a variety of environments and scenarios. When you feel that your child is able to drive safely and responsibly, you give them the keys to the car - with pride and a twinge of apprehension.
Think of your child’s screen time in the same way.
Do you know as much about online safety as you do about safety on the road?
Just like driving, there’s a lot to know about safe and responsible screen time. Until your child has acquired healthy screen time skills, you have to play an active role as they engage in the online world.
The risks of not monitoring your child’s screen time are many. They may:
None of us want to see our child cornered into any of the above scenarios. We want to know that our kids are safe online. We want to be ready and aware of possible dilemmas that being online can create. We want our kids to know they can rely on us in their online life, just as they would in their offline life. We want to feel connected and close to our kids as we teach them to navigate the wonderful, yet tricky aspects of the online world.
Here are some examples of safe and responsible screen time behavior:
Navigating screen time with children is tough for most parents. If you need some extra help setting up an effective plan and/or teaching your child the skills needed for healthy and responsible screen time, we invite you to learn more about our program. We got you covered!
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About Beyond Limits Academy
Beyond Limits is a simple step-by-step online program that teaches parents how to prepare their children for a lifetime of safe and healthy technology use. Going beyond just screen time limits, our skills-based approach provides a clear roadmap that reduces conflict and sets children up to manage their own tech use independently and responsibly. In an increasingly digital world, preparing our children to use technology wisely is no longer an option . . . it's a necessity.
End the constant screen time battles. Join the movement here.