by Brooke Strickland and Andrew Doan,
authors of “Hooked on Games“
Today, parents and educators all over the world struggle to put strict limits on using technology. Controlling and managing the time that children and teenagers spend online, playing video games, surfing the Internet, or using their television or computer screens to watch movies.
How can parents set limits on tech use?
In fact, even technology executives have talked openly about being conservative when it comes to controlling screen time in their families. Twitter’s co-founder, Evan Williams, Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo, Facebook and Dropbox adviser, Ali Partovi, and more exectuves are all known for putting strict controls on how much time their children use technology.
They admit that they have seen the dangers that come with the overuse of technology and they don’t want to see it happen in their families or their children. Apple Founder, Steve Jobs, also was known to not have iPads in his home and was known for limiting the intake of technology in his own home. (1)
So what do these execs do instead? They take a break from technology. They read and discuss books. They sit down as a family and eat dinner and talk to each other – really talk to each other – and discuss history or other important topics. Technology execs have found value in just saying no to too much technology use.
Their ability to set limits and controls in their own family shows a great example to the rest of our world. Setting limits is very doable and it’s easier than you might think, especially when you start at a young age. If you have small children, start limiting screen time right away. If your children are older and you haven’t really set any guidelines, then start it immediately. Designate computer use for specific hours during the day and make certain areas phone-free or computer-free zones, such as the dinner table or the bedroom.
And most of all, try to be a good example. Don’t spend hours on your phone or your computer playing games or surfing the web. Spend time face to face with your children. Listen to what they are saying and let them be heard. Show that they are more important than your phone or your video games. And if you or your loved one is struggling with technology or video game addiction, seek help immediately. It can be devastating and have serious consequences if not dealt with correctly.
For more information:
1. Douglas, Troy. “Putting kids in a tech time-out.” In The Black. December 1, 2014. Accessed December 8, 2014. http://intheblack.com/articles/2014/12/01/putting-kids-in-a-tech-time-out