FAMILY CONTRACTS AND RULES
Many experts have been encouraging families to create strict rules about technology /screen use. A recent article in the NY times urges parents and children to abide by the following 5 NO PHONE ZONE.
1) In the Bedroom
2) At the Table
3) Reading a Book
4) In the Outdoors
5) In the Car
The American Academy of Pediatrics provides some guidelines and tools to create a Family Media Plan.
There have been many parents that were unaware of the research regarding iPhones and thus, did not properly set expectations. These parents have had difficulties managing it. Fortunately, the research is available and now parents can make better choices to keep their children safe and protect their development. One article in the Huffington Post, suggests the following:
A CONTRACT WITH THE FOLLOWING:
1)Clear rules and expectations
2)Warn about inappropriate texts and pictures
3)Teach your child about cyberbullying and how NOT to be a cyberbully
4)Use it as an opportunity to teach responsibility (PAY FOR IT)
5)Always remember it is THE PARENTS phone-TAKE IT AWAY
Also helpful are some other tips
1) Parental role modeling. -Your child will use the it like you do or worse, they see a parent checking it in the car they will too.
2) Decreasing dependency and not using it for everything.
3) MONITOR usage, all communication in our lives seem to take place on the phone, if you're not monitoring it, you are not being vigilant and your child will suffer. You will increase the probability of unsafe behavior. Ask any middle school or high school staff. Your iphone can teach your child just about anything-to buy drugs, to cut, to kill themselves-you name it.
4) Rules about phones and walking, biking, socializing, in-line, while talking to others.
5) Where to CARRY the phone. The research is not available yet about the dangers of holding in your hand and putting it in your pocket all day.
6) Teaching them they don't have to respond to everything all day and prevent OVERCOMMUNICATION. This means parents don't text them all day. A recent Parents are texting their parents %66 percent of the time.
7) Preventing the another new problem, Text Neck would be a good idea too.