Bearing in mind the problem of abuse of digital media by children and adolescents, a thesis should be made that there is no responsible use of smartphones, computers, the Internet without creating home rules for using these tools. But are we, parents, able to create such home codes? It turns out that what seems simple theoretically starts to spend sleepless nights in practice. Create a home code of using mobile devices.
Domestic rules for using digital media are essential
One of the building blocks of the so-called digital responsibility of our children is proper modeling of attitudes in the everyday use of digital benefits. Why are such rules important? Firstly, they build a child’s sense of security by creating daily rituals relating to new technologies.
The established rules set the child’s constant boundaries, which he knows and understands, develops healthy habits related to e-hygiene (which will pay off in his adult life with technology), reduces the sense of stress (there is time to rest from the information overload causing fatigue of the young mind), they stimulate a creative search for leisure time activities, and can contribute to reducing family conflicts thanks to clear rules that everyone is obliged to follow. A recommendation for making home rules is also the fact that well-implemented rules help you spend more time together without the distraction of smartphones. We discussed this topic in more detail in the previous article, “Family life of mobile device accounts”. We encourage you to read it.
Guidelines for creating home codes for the use of new technologies
A model of the home code of using digital media along with the attached scenario of a conversation between parents and children about home rules .
How to build home codes of using new technologies? How should parents and children participate in this work? Is the developed code permanent and unchanging and should it concern only children? Below are some of the most important guidelines that we should always keep in mind when developing this type of family contract.
- Discuss the idea. It is a good idea to discuss the idea of creating a house code with your husband / wife, partner / partner in advance. Both parents should have full coherence and a vision of the goal they are aiming for. In case you do not live together, it is a good idea to inform each other about the creation of the house code. If it is worked out, it should apply to dad and mum’s house.
- Joint work. The rules set out in the house code should be the result of your work with the child, not your work or the work of the child himself. If a child has a real sense of influence over what is written, they are more likely to follow them in the future. By working together, you increase the child’s sense of subjectivity and importance in the process of deciding about the most important things in your family.
- You are the leader. Remember that as an adult you are in full control of your child’s ideas as they come up. You are the leader of the created principles of responsible use of digital media. Listen to your child’s expectations and ideas when writing the code, don’t negate them, don’t say they’re bad, just that they may need to be corrected. On points of contention, suggest your changes to your child’s ideas. Remember that the rules you create should not be written in the form of prohibitions or orders, but rather as guidelines.
- Think positive. Remember that rules should not be written in the form of prohibitions or orders, but rather as guidelines. Such an understanding of the matter will allow you to get rid of the negative association of work that needs to be done.
- Follow together. The rules of the house code should be followed collectively. This will further emphasize the role and importance of the child in the family. Your child will feel confident when they see that you, too, are striving to follow the set goals for responsible use of digital media. It will feel that it is not left to itself, but that it can count on your support and presence.
- Consistency in action. Remember that when working with a child, you should establish not only the rules of responsible use of digital media, but also the consequences of not respecting them. So think carefully about each written rule to see if you can actually follow it without any problems. Remember: these are simple solutions to increase personal hygiene in your daily digital media use. A house code should not be associated with a punishment and a set of rules impossible to fulfill.
- Monitor your progress. The domestic code of responsible use of digital media is designed to shape the right attitude in the everyday use of such mobile devices as a smartphone, tablet, computer, game console. Understood in this way, it cannot be reduced to one-off work together, but should be implemented every day. Pay attention to the fact that from time to time – determined by you – to pay attention to how your work is implemented in the daily functioning of the family. Perhaps you will come to the conclusion that changes to the domestic code are needed, perhaps individual points of it require correction or complete reformulation, or even liquidation.
- This is a really important day. Remember that the process of creating rules for responsible use of digital media should not be associated with punishment and severe restriction. Do everything for the child / student to remember this day as an important event in his life. Let the emergence of responsible use of digital media be associated with a pleasant time.
Practice shows that many misunderstandings at home, at school, in public places related to the inept use of smartphones and tablets could be avoided if we modeled the right attitudes regarding the use of digital benefits by our children. Let’s not forget that a small child is very flexible in teaching desired behaviors. That is why, together with our children, let us create home codes and rules for using the tools of new technologies, being aware of their good, proper development, and the positive impact of the rules on their somatic, mental and social health.