Warmest wishes for a happy Holiday season and a wonderful New Year.
How To Establish a Budget
Are you looking for an effective way to establish a budget? Beginning on the first day of a new month, get a receipt for everything you purchase. Stack and review receipts at the end of the month, and you will clearly be able to see where your money is going.
Healthy family technology use: five steps
Healthy family technology use is about finding a balance between using technology in ways that meet your individual needs and ways that support positive family relationships. Our five-step guide can get you started on a plan that works for your family.
Your family’s relationship with technology: is it healthy?
Family relationships with technology are about:
- how individual family members use technology
- how individual technology use affects your family, including family relationships and communication.
If your family has a healthy relationship with technology, you all try to use technology in ways that are good for your family relationships. Also, you’re all more likely to have positive media experiences that meet your individual needs and interests.
You can achieve a healthy family relationship with technology by talking about technology use together and agreeing on basic rules and principles for family technology use. Our five-step guide below can get your family off to a good start.
Step 1: role-modeling healthy technology use
When it comes to technology use, you’re a key role model for your child.
Your own technology use and how you talk about it can shape what your child thinks is an OK way to use technology. The way you use technology also sends your child a message about how important you think technology is. For example, if you forget to take your phone when you leave the house, how does your child see you respond?
A technology diary can help you work out how much time you’re spending using screens and what kind of messages you’re sending your child about technology use. Try keeping the diary for a week. You could ask your child to keep a diary as well. At the end of the week, you and your child could share your diaries and talk about what they show.
For example, you might say, ‘My diary showed that I spend more time on social media than I realized. I’m going to make an effort to spend less time doing that. Did your diary tell you anything surprising?’.
It’s also good to talk with your child about the apps you use, the people and groups you follow, or interesting things you’ve read. This helps to create a safe, trusting environment at home where it’s OK to talk openly about technology use. More Steps
Parental controls and safety settings
Most devices have safety settings or parental controls, which help to control the content your child sees on her screen.
Safety settings can be useful when you have younger children. But tools like internet filters don’t necessarily reduce the online risk for older children.
These tools can even increase the risk for teenagers over 14 years. If children are using filters at this age, they might not be developing the skills they need to avoid inappropriate content. And when they use the internet in unfiltered environments, they might take risks either accidentally or on purpose.
It’s also best to avoid using surveillance apps that let you secretly monitor your child’s online activity. Using these apps sends the message that you don’t trust your child.
Trust between you and your child helps keep your child safe online. Calm, open conversations about internet use can help your child feel that you trust him to be responsible online. And if your child feels trusted, he’s more likely to talk with you about what he does online and tell you about online content and contacts that worry him.