Creating your Digital family alliance
- Research shows that children’s usage of screens is directly related to parent’s usage.
- Modelling healthy screen use is a powerful way to impact your children’s behaviour.
- Creating a ‘we are in this together’ family culture, means digital behaviour is not hidden but rather consciously and safely managed.
Picture this: kids rush home from school, disappear into their rooms with their digital devices and have to eventually be coaxed out with promises of rewards, or threats of reduced screen time. New deals are struck, commitments are made, time tables are drawn up, but nothing seems to change. The lure of the digital world feels too strong and overwhelming, sapping time and energy from kids as they slowly lose the ability to “just be kids”.
Maybe this isn’t your experience. Maybe the digital challenges your family face are slightly different. What is for sure, is that the age we live in has brought a whole new dimension to our parenting repertoire, and managing digital disconnect has become a health priority ranked high up there with sugar overload and sun exposure. We are ALL victims of this modern-day addiction. If you have an iPhone, do a quick check now on your own screen time usage at Settings > Screen Time (need help, click here). For Android phones try downloading FOMO. How many times have you picked up your device today, how much of that time was truly productive and what did it stop you from doing instead?
At Be in Touch we believe that a healthy digital diet starts with a Family Alliance.
Now picture this: a family is sitting together, and the parents start a conversation about why and how they think they need to change the way they use their screens. They speak vulnerably about this realisation, but with confidence in their ability to control their screens, instead of being controlled by them. The children are invited to speak about their own digital usage – about what they need it for and for how long every day. The family chats about what they feel is a healthy balance, and why there should be limits. With everyone owning the change they agree on together, a family alliance is created, which includes the different ways in which the family will consciously change their behaviour, and keep each other honest. The family alliance is written up and posted on the fridge, with another family meeting set for the following week, to check in on how it’s going.
We want to help your family create that second picture. Use our Family Alliance Guideline to structure your family alliance conversation, then use our BiT Digital Family Alliance Contract to get your family committed and take the first step in honing your digital habits in a conscious and healthy way.