Tech

How Technology Can Coexist With Kids in a Healthy Way #takecharge

When parents come to me with questions about how to monitor their kid’s technology, it’s almost always after they’ve discovered something – a questionable photo on Instagram, a conversation with a stranger, usage when they should have been doing their homework. No matter how conscious and proactive parents are about setting limits in other areas, often they don’t create boundaries around technology until a boundary has already been crossed. And no wonder: Many say they simply don’t know where to begin. If they ban chatting on one device, they think, their kids will find a way to do it on another. Others parents say they didn’t realize how much time their kids actually spent staring at screens.

Believe it or not, according to recent studies, kids ages 8 to 18 spend more than seven and a half hours a day on various devices, often while multitasking. But while too much technology use is associated with lower grades and shortened attention spans, it also creates wonderful opportunities for parents and kids alike that none of us would want to give up. So here are a few ways to start thinking about how technology can coexist with kids in a healthy way.

Establish your policy up front. Earlier this year, when a mom named Jannel Burley Hoffman gave her 13-year-old son his first iPhone, it came not just with a data plan, but with a contract. Among the points: She would have his password; if she or her husband called, her son was always to pick up; there would be no porn viewing or sending or receiving inappropriate photos; he would have access to his phone during certain hours only; if he accidentally lost or broke his phone, he would be responsible for its replacement cost. Clarifying rules early on is a win-win for everyone. Kids learn that with freedom comes responsibility, and parents can feel reassured that while kids will make mistakes, they don’t have to come up with a consequence (often an overreaction) on the fly. It’s all in the contract.

Make manners matter. Because we parents were born before Facebook existed, we learned our manners offline. If we did something rude, we apologized, and our bad judgment didn’t live in cyberspace for eternity. For this reason, kids need to know that if they wouldn’t say something offline to a person’s face, they shouldn’t text, post or e-mail that comment, either.  Likewise, if they wouldn’t cut off a person sitting across the table from them mid-sentence, they shouldn’t start texting somebody else when that real live person they’re hanging out with is mid-sentence. It may seem obvious to us, but many kids need a reminder that while technology is cool, human beings – with feelings – are the ones who are using it.

Don’t give in to peer pressure…from your kids! Even if you set limits, inevitably your child will try to get you to change your mind with, “But everyone else my age has [fill in the blank]!” If you feel your kid isn’t ready for something – a Facebook account, an iPhone – listen to your gut. Yes, they may be using it from the safety of their bedroom or backpack, but once they’re online, they’re, in essence, able to interact with the entire world. Some kids are inherently less impulsive than others; some self-regulate at earlier ages than others. Your kids will internalize the limits you set, so that by gradually increasing their freedom, you’re giving them the opportunity to show you that they can handle the next level of responsibility. Just as you wouldn’t give your teenager the keys to the car if you didn’t think she could go to a party and not drink before driving, you wouldn’t give her access to a type of technology you didn’t feel confident she could be safe with. Letting your kids show you they’re ready gives you peace of mind, and them the confidence of having earned your trust through their actions.

Be in this together. Because technology is ever-changing, and so are our kids, it’s important for them to feel that while you set the rules, communication is always open. If you notice a distinct change in your child’s behavior and friendships, and you check to see if cyber-bullying is occurring, you’re being a helpful parent, not an intrusive spy. If you set a rule but it’s not in line with what the technology actually does, listen to your child’s explanation, research it, and if you need to adjust the rule, then do so. If you find your child searching for something above his age level on the Internet and you want to give him more accurate information, start a conversation about it. Yes, kids can and should have their spheres of privacy. But they need to know that the Internet is a communal space, one that parents and kids are in together.

Visit www.cox.com/takecharge for more tips and information.

This section of TheDivineMissMommy.com contains a blog discussing products and services for which I have received promotional consideration from A&E Television Networks, LLC (“AETN”) and/or AETN’s third-party advertisers. Unless otherwise expressly indicated, the opinions that you read on this section of (your site URL) are those of this bloggers and/or the advertisers that commissioned or paid the blogger.


 

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Stacie

Stacie

Stacie Haight Connerty, a social media consultant, is the Editor's Pick for Most Influential Southern Blogger from Circle of Mom's one of Cision Media's Top 10 Most Influential Mommy Bloggers and one of the HERoic: 10 Mommy Bloggers Who Rule Social Media.

Stacie is the About.com Travel Expert for Vacation Rentals and Shares and a contributor to iBlog Magazine. Stacie founded Social Media Chicks, a collaborative social media consulting company and Georgia Social Media Moms, a group of 350+ social media/blogging experts in her home state.

An Atlanta resident and lifelong writer, Stacie is the mother of three children (11 & under), leader of two Girl Scout troops, an active PTA member and married to the love of her life. She is always planning the next epic travel adventure for her family.



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  1. June 25, 2013 at 8:06 am — Reply

    […] How Can Technology Coexist with Kids […]

  2. Mami2jcn
    June 25, 2013 at 9:09 am — Reply

    My tip would be to supervise their Internet use.

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  23. rachel travis
    June 25, 2013 at 9:43 am — Reply

    They can coexist by having their “technology” time limited, just like everything else :)

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  24. Sandy VanHoey
    June 25, 2013 at 11:09 am — Reply

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  46. Jessie C.
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  107. Candice
    June 25, 2013 at 6:04 pm — Reply

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  124. Trisha Dowling
    June 25, 2013 at 10:34 pm — Reply

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  126. Cynthia R
    June 25, 2013 at 10:53 pm — Reply

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    Set firm limits on usage time. And make sure they understand that you can look over their shoulder at any time!

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  194. Sandy VanHoey
    June 27, 2013 at 6:51 pm — Reply
  195. Sandy VanHoey
    June 28, 2013 at 5:49 am — Reply
  196. Cynthia R
    June 28, 2013 at 8:55 am — Reply
  197. Sandy VanHoey
    June 28, 2013 at 9:22 am — Reply
  198. Sandy VanHoey
    June 28, 2013 at 11:27 am — Reply
  199. Cynthia R
    June 28, 2013 at 12:35 pm — Reply
  200. Sarah Hall
    June 28, 2013 at 3:46 pm — Reply

    By making sure that you limit the time spent in front of the computer or other electronic device. Kids must have fresh air and sunshine and exercise to grow and be healthy. The computer is a wonderful device but it does need to be limited sometimes.

  201. Jennifer T.
    June 28, 2013 at 7:39 pm — Reply

    My son, who is not even two yet, has already picked up some colors and shapes from watching his older sister play educational games on my phone when we are waiting somewhere. I think that limits on screen time and supervision can foster a healthy outcome with technology.
    jtmagmom73(at)gmail(dot)com

  202. Jennifer T.
    June 28, 2013 at 7:39 pm — Reply

    I’m an e-mail subscriber. #1
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  203. Jennifer T.
    June 28, 2013 at 7:40 pm — Reply

    I’m an e-mail subscriber. #2
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  204. Jennifer T.
    June 28, 2013 at 7:40 pm — Reply

    I’m an e-mail subscriber. #3
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  205. Jennifer T.
    June 28, 2013 at 7:40 pm — Reply

    I’m an e-mail subscriber. #4
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  206. Jennifer T.
    June 28, 2013 at 7:41 pm — Reply

    I’m an e-mail subscriber. #5
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  207. Jennifer T.
    June 28, 2013 at 7:41 pm — Reply

    I follow through Google+ (Jennifer Tilson). #1
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  208. Jennifer T.
    June 28, 2013 at 7:41 pm — Reply

    I follow through Google+ (Jennifer Tilson). #2
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  209. Jennifer T.
    June 28, 2013 at 7:42 pm — Reply

    I follow @StacieinAtlanta on Twitter under @MagMom73.
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  210. Jennifer T.
    June 28, 2013 at 8:08 pm — Reply

    I entered the Coach Handbag giveaway. #1
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  211. Jennifer T.
    June 28, 2013 at 8:08 pm — Reply

    I entered the Coach Handbag giveaway. #2
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  212. Jennifer T.
    June 28, 2013 at 8:09 pm — Reply

    I entered the Coach Handbag giveaway. #3
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  213. Jennifer T.
    June 28, 2013 at 8:09 pm — Reply

    I entered the Coach Handbag giveaway. #4
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  214. Jennifer T.
    June 28, 2013 at 8:10 pm — Reply

    I entered the Coach Handbag giveaway. #5
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  215. Jennifer T.
    June 28, 2013 at 8:23 pm — Reply

    I entered the Wendy’s Father’s Day Frosty Weekend giveaway. #1
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  216. Jennifer T.
    June 28, 2013 at 8:24 pm — Reply

    I entered the Wendy’s Father’s Day Frosty Weekend giveaway. #2
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  217. Jennifer T.
    June 28, 2013 at 8:24 pm — Reply

    I entered the Wendy’s Father’s Day Frosty Weekend giveaway. #3
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  218. Jennifer T.
    June 28, 2013 at 8:25 pm — Reply

    I entered the Wendy’s Father’s Day Frosty Weekend giveaway. #4
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  219. Jennifer T.
    June 28, 2013 at 8:25 pm — Reply

    I entered the Wendy’s Father’s Day Frosty Weekend giveaway. #5
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  220. Jennifer T.
    June 28, 2013 at 8:38 pm — Reply

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    June 28, 2013 at 8:38 pm — Reply

    I entered the RaceTrac Sodapalozza giveaway. #2
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    June 28, 2013 at 8:38 pm — Reply

    I entered the RaceTrac Sodapalozza giveaway. #3
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  223. Jennifer T.
    June 28, 2013 at 8:39 pm — Reply

    I entered the RaceTrac Sodapalozza giveaway. #4
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  224. Jennifer T.
    June 28, 2013 at 8:39 pm — Reply

    I entered the RaceTrac Sodapalozza giveaway. #5
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  225. Jennifer T.
    June 28, 2013 at 9:38 pm — Reply

    I entered the Bomb Pops & Publix giveaway. #1
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    June 28, 2013 at 9:38 pm — Reply

    I entered the Bomb Pops & Publix giveaway. #2
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  227. Jennifer T.
    June 28, 2013 at 9:39 pm — Reply

    I entered the Bomb Pops & Publix giveaway. #3
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  228. Jennifer T.
    June 28, 2013 at 9:39 pm — Reply

    I entered the Bomb Pops & Publix giveaway. #4
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  229. Jennifer T.
    June 28, 2013 at 9:39 pm — Reply

    I entered the Bomb Pops & Publix giveaway. #5
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  230. Jennifer T.
    June 28, 2013 at 9:51 pm — Reply

    I entered the Alamo Games 2 Go giveaway. #1
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  231. Jennifer T.
    June 28, 2013 at 9:51 pm — Reply

    I entered the Alamo Games 2 Go giveaway. #2
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  232. Jennifer T.
    June 28, 2013 at 9:52 pm — Reply

    I entered the Alamo Games 2 Go giveaway. #3
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  233. Jennifer T.
    June 28, 2013 at 9:52 pm — Reply

    I entered the Alamo Games 2 Go giveaway. #4
    jtmagmom73(at)gmail(dot)com

  234. Jennifer T.
    June 28, 2013 at 9:53 pm — Reply

    I entered the Alamo Games 2 Go giveaway. #5
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  235. Jennifer T.
    June 28, 2013 at 10:07 pm — Reply

    I entered The Way, Way Back giveaway. #1
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  236. Jennifer T.
    June 28, 2013 at 10:08 pm — Reply

    I entered The Way, Way Back giveaway. #2
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  237. Jennifer T.
    June 28, 2013 at 10:08 pm — Reply

    I entered The Way, Way Back giveaway. #3
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  238. Jennifer T.
    June 28, 2013 at 10:09 pm — Reply

    I entered The Way, Way Back giveaway. #4
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  239. Jennifer T.
    June 28, 2013 at 10:10 pm — Reply

    I entered The Way, Way Back giveaway. #5
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  240. Olga Beauty
    June 29, 2013 at 4:09 am — Reply

    It’s a very important and burning topic, for many kids have notebooks, iPhones, apps, cell phones etc. And we can’t change the situation becuase it’s a new age and our kids must go with the times to succeed in this life. So, our task as parents is to protect them as far as possible. Thank you for this info!

  241. Charlotte
    June 29, 2013 at 8:34 am — Reply

    Set a limited amount of time, they should be supervised, and you should know passwords to their social accounts!

  242. Charlotte
    June 29, 2013 at 9:48 am — Reply

    1 Subscribed by email & RSS

  243. Charlotte
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  246. Charlotte
    June 29, 2013 at 9:51 am — Reply

    5 Subscribed by email & RSS

  247. Charlotte
    June 29, 2013 at 9:53 am — Reply

    1 Entered AlamosGames2Go giveaway

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  249. Charlotte
    June 29, 2013 at 9:54 am — Reply

    3 Entered AlamosGames2Go giveaway

  250. Charlotte
    June 29, 2013 at 9:55 am — Reply

    4 Entered AlamosGames2Go giveaway

  251. Charlotte
    June 29, 2013 at 9:57 am — Reply

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  252. Charlotte
    June 29, 2013 at 9:58 am — Reply

    1 Entered The Way, Way Back giveaway

  253. Charlotte
    June 29, 2013 at 9:59 am — Reply

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  254. Charlotte
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  255. Charlotte
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  256. Charlotte
    June 29, 2013 at 10:01 am — Reply

    5 Entered The Way, Way Back giveaway

  257. Charlotte
    June 29, 2013 at 10:02 am — Reply

    1 Entered Coach Purse giveaway

  258. Charlotte
    June 29, 2013 at 10:03 am — Reply

    2 Entered Coach Purse giveaway

  259. Charlotte
    June 29, 2013 at 10:05 am — Reply

    3 Entered Coach Purse giveaway

  260. Charlotte
    June 29, 2013 at 10:06 am — Reply

    4 Entered Coach Purse giveaway

  261. Charlotte
    June 29, 2013 at 10:06 am — Reply

    5 Entered Coach Purse giveaway

  262. Charlotte
    June 29, 2013 at 10:10 am — Reply

    1 Left comment on “Disney Fantasy Cruise Ship”

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    June 29, 2013 at 10:11 am — Reply

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    June 29, 2013 at 10:20 am — Reply

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    June 29, 2013 at 10:21 am — Reply

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    June 29, 2013 at 10:23 am — Reply

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  273. Charlotte
    June 29, 2013 at 10:23 am — Reply

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  274. Charlotte
    June 29, 2013 at 10:24 am — Reply

    1 Following on Pinterest (Charluvsabby3)

  275. Charlotte
    June 29, 2013 at 10:24 am — Reply

    2 Following on Pinterest (Charluvsabby3)

  276. Charlotte
    June 29, 2013 at 10:26 am — Reply
  277. Charlotte
    June 29, 2013 at 10:26 am — Reply
  278. Charlotte
    June 29, 2013 at 10:27 am — Reply
  279. Charlotte
    June 29, 2013 at 10:28 am — Reply

    Following you on twitter (Charluvsabby3)

  280. Charlotte
    June 29, 2013 at 10:30 am — Reply
  281. Sandy VanHoey
    June 30, 2013 at 4:48 am — Reply
  282. June 30, 2013 at 5:30 pm — Reply

    My best tip for how technology and kids can coexist in a health way is by blocking what you think needs to be blocked and supervising the rest. ;)
    Deanna recently posted…My Latest Win – Monster High Dolls Ghouls Helping Ghouls Prize PackMy Profile

  283. June 30, 2013 at 5:35 pm — Reply

    #1 – I’m subscribed by email.
    Deanna recently posted…My Latest Win – Monster High Dolls Ghouls Helping Ghouls Prize PackMy Profile

  284. June 30, 2013 at 5:40 pm — Reply

    #2 – I’m subscribed by email.
    Deanna recently posted…My Latest Win – Monster High Dolls Ghouls Helping Ghouls Prize PackMy Profile

  285. June 30, 2013 at 5:45 pm — Reply

    #3 – I’m subscribed by email.
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  286. June 30, 2013 at 5:50 pm — Reply

    #4 – I’m subscribed by email.
    Deanna recently posted…My Latest Win – Monster High Dolls Ghouls Helping Ghouls Prize PackMy Profile

  287. June 30, 2013 at 5:55 pm — Reply

    #5 – I’m subscribed by email.
    Deanna recently posted…My Latest Win – Monster High Dolls Ghouls Helping Ghouls Prize PackMy Profile

  288. June 30, 2013 at 6:05 pm — Reply

    #1 – I added you to one of my Google+ circles (Deanna McClellan).
    Deanna recently posted…My Latest Win – Monster High Dolls Ghouls Helping Ghouls Prize PackMy Profile

  289. June 30, 2013 at 6:10 pm — Reply

    #2 – I added you to one of my Google+ circles (Deanna McClellan).
    Deanna recently posted…My Latest Win – Monster High Dolls Ghouls Helping Ghouls Prize PackMy Profile

  290. June 30, 2013 at 6:20 pm — Reply

    #1 – I’m following you on Pinterest (deannajdm).
    Deanna recently posted…My Latest Win – Monster High Dolls Ghouls Helping Ghouls Prize PackMy Profile

  291. June 30, 2013 at 6:25 pm — Reply

    #2 – I’m following you on Pinterest (deannajdm).
    Deanna recently posted…My Latest Win – Monster High Dolls Ghouls Helping Ghouls Prize PackMy Profile

  292. June 30, 2013 at 6:30 pm — Reply

    I’m following StacieinAtlanta on Twitter (giveaway_mommy).
    Deanna recently posted…My Latest Win – Monster High Dolls Ghouls Helping Ghouls Prize PackMy Profile

  293. Deanna
    June 30, 2013 at 6:50 pm — Reply
  294. amber
    July 2, 2013 at 6:23 pm — Reply

    i think kids and technology can only coexisit with proper supervision by parents. I think it’s completely OK for parents to have all kids email, facebook, ect passwords, and to set a certain age when a kid can have those accounts

  295. amber
    July 2, 2013 at 6:25 pm — Reply

    i subscribe to your emails #1

  296. amber
    July 2, 2013 at 6:25 pm — Reply

    i subscribe to your emails #2

  297. amber
    July 2, 2013 at 6:26 pm — Reply

    i subscribe to your emails #3

  298. amber
    July 2, 2013 at 6:26 pm — Reply

    i subscribe to your emails #4

  299. amber
    July 2, 2013 at 6:26 pm — Reply

    i subscribe to your emails #5

  300. amber
    July 2, 2013 at 6:27 pm — Reply

    follow u on pinterest as mmmmdonut #1

  301. amber
    July 2, 2013 at 6:28 pm — Reply

    follow u on pinterest as mmmmdonut #2

  302. Kenny F
    July 15, 2013 at 1:34 am — Reply

    using internet safely

  303. Kenny F
    July 15, 2013 at 1:37 am — Reply

    entered alamo 1x

  304. July 22, 2013 at 6:26 pm — Reply

    http://www.rebelmouse.com...

    How Technology Can Coexist With Kids in a Healthy Way – $50 Gift Card Giveaway #takecharge #sp | The Divine Miss Mommy | Atlanta Georgia Mom Blogger | Travel Blogger…