Managing Technology at Home
Set Expectations & Make an Agreement
Regularly share your expectations with your child about accessing only appropriate sites and content, as well as being a good person when online (even when parents aren't watching). Outside of school, it is likely that your child has already been confronted with multiple opportunities to access content that parents wouldn’t approve, such as pornography, hate sites, celebrity gossip, reality tv personal blogs and more, all of which may influence your child's beliefs, values and behavior. Understand that your child's use of many technologies (such as laptops, video game systems, and cell phones) likely gives your child the ability to connect to unfiltered public wireless networks (such as in a restaurant or coffee shop, by picking up a neighbor’s wireless signal, or connecting to the Internet through a cell service). Therefore, it is important to maintain regular, open dialog about internet use and access. Discuss your expectation for appropriate use and behavior.
Additionally, parenting experts suggest parking all technology devices, from cell phones to iPads, in a common spot overnight to discourage late night, unmonitored use and sleep disruption. Don’t allow your child to sleep in a room with an iPad, laptop or cell phone. Remember to model appropriate use and balance of technology in your own life, too!
The Health and Physical Education Department at North Allegheny encourages students to adopt a 5-4-3-2-1-0 countdown to help students balance their media use as a part of overall healthy living.
Media Agreements are a resource and checklist that parents can use to guide conversations with their kids about media use. They are designed to help parents establish guidelines and expectations around media use and behavior that are right for their family. Some families are comfortable using them as signed agreements. Others refer to them to use simply as a checklist to guide conversations. Either way, they are a great way to help parents and kids get on the same page about media and technology use. Take time to review these Family Media Agreements and discuss them with your child:
Family Media Plan from the American Academy of Pediatrics
Family Media Agreement from Common Sense Media
Family Engagement Resources from Common Sense Media