This post was sponsored by Google in partnership with the Forward Influence Network. All thoughts and opinions are my own
I remember growing up only having a TV in our home but my kids today are surrounded by screens; computers, tablets, TVs in our car. I confess that because I work from home, I’m usually on my computer more hours during the day then I care to admit. Finding a balance can be a struggle but it is doable.
To think about how your family works with technology, it’s good for you to do some personal self-reflection. Google has created Digital Wellbeing- a tool that offers resources to help us find and maintain a balance when it comes to technology. Balance in life can be extremely difficult but these tools are very helpful. Google has decided that they have a responsibility to help all of us technology users and lovers to find it.
Google’s Digital Wellbeing has a self-reflection quiz, expert video content, a Family Conversation Guide and more! These tools help me feel great about the choices I make that concern my family and technology as a whole. We’re able to start creating and making healthy habits and I’m sharing a few that have helped us over the last few months. If you want to discover more tips and tools like the Family Guide, visit wellbeing.google to find a balance with technology that feels right for the whole family. Below are some tips that have helped us!
1. Chores First- Screen Later
Before either of my children are allowed to watch screen time ( use a tablet or watch a show ) they need to do daily chores. Although my two-year-old doesn’t really understand basic chores like my five-year-old, he does tend to help with picking up toys, putting his clothes in his laundry basket and handing over his plate and cup after a meal.
To me it’s essential to make sure that they understand that screen time is a privilege not something they can just have. Once the chores are done, screen time is limited to either an educational show or movie that’s age-appropriate.
2. Role Model
I know my children look up to me and I need to be the one to set the example of proper screen time. It can be super simple to check my email during dinner or while my kids want to play with me so I try to be present! Waking up before my kids to check my email tends to work because I’m a morning person. They are only young for a few years and soon they won’t want me to play long board games, dress up or tag outside.
3. You Sleep & Phones Sleep
When it’s time for bed, it’s very easy for us to get distracted on our phones and end up exhausted because we stayed up too late. The rule we established with us and our kids is that when we sleep, our phones/tablets and TVs also sleep. We use our charging stations as their ‘beds’ and our kids enjoy putting them to ‘sleep’ every night so we can all recharge our batteries for the next morning. Once our phones are asleep, my husband and I also make sure that we take time for one another. This means going on our front porch and talking or watching a movie together without the distraction of our phones!