1. Talk to your family about pros and cons

  • Bring up tech usage as a family
  • Describe the importance of balance in all things
  • As a family, brainstorm a list of pros and cons regarding how technology impacts your lives
  • Encourage the whole family to abide by the same boundaries

2. Assess your child’s tech usage

  • Spend a week paying close attention to the amount of technology your child is using
  • Reach out to teachers, fellow parents, or friends to determine how much your son or daughter is using technology, including computers, smartphones, video games, and television.

3. Limit Tech Time
Talk to them about limiting the amount of time they will be allowed to use technology going forward. The more control you can give them over their new tech schedule, the more they will welcome the change.

4. Keep Tech out of the Bedroom
If you haven’t already, prohibit the use of technology in their bedroom. This means no TV, no computer, and no smartphone. They won’t be happy about this, but explain to them that this will give them an opportunity to use their bedroom as it’s intended—to rest and recharge.

5. Monitor their tech activity
Play their video games. Watch their television programs. Visit the websites they frequent. Read their texts, emails, and posts to their social media pages. This need not be done in secret. Let your son or daughter know that the privilege of using the tech devices you provide them with is your right to monitor their activities.

6. Hold off on a cell phone
The sooner you allow your son or daughter a constant tech companion, the sooner you introduce the possibility of technology dependence. Try and protect your son or daughter from the tether of tech addiction as long as you possibly can, at least until they start middle school.

7. Say no to new tech toys
Wait until the waning performance of the existing device actually warrants a new purchase. In this manner, you can teach your son or daughter how to appreciate what they have, how to wait patiently for what they want, and how to be a responsible consumer

8. Set Consequences for violations of tech rules
Set up a clear set of consequences should these rules be violated. The most effective consequences are those in which you confiscate the device for a specified period of time.

9. Revisit the rules now and then

  • Finding just the right amount of tech usage requires a learning curve.
  • As your son or daughter grows and changes, so do their habits, interests, and needs.
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