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Humble Media Genius

What Are Your Technology Rules?

We asked real parents what rules they have for technology. Their answers may shock or surprise you.
Picture of Ruff and Blossom

Technology is part of this generation's day-to-day life more than any other before it. To not allow my son access to technology is placing him at a disadvantage both in school and in social settings. He has access to most technology. He is given limits and is monitored, but is also trusted to make his own choices. There has to be some measure of self-monitoring so he learns how to deal with situations as they arise.

My son has always had issues with his handwriting so we have allowed him to do his homework using Google Docs to type it out. He figured out how to make a folder and save his work in case he ever lost it. The idea that his saved work was always recoverable was a great help for him and alleviating some anxiety he has had.

My son is 8 and hasn't pushed the boundaries so far. He's had some sneaky friends try to get him to play Call of Duty or watch Family Guy on Netflix and he's come to us to ask permission (NO!), so I think our tech-friendly with limits approach has worked (for this particular child, anyway). He likes the things he does have access to and knows we have a reason for restricting other things.

Picture of unusual computer screen

He is only allowed a device if I know his password. In the beginning he got grounded once for forgetting to tell me his password.

Texting only two hours after school and before 8pm.

Access is important but so are limitations. Only our oldest gets to use the iPad or the computer and then only for very specific educational games.

Access to technology in moderation is good. Grades and behavior are expected to stay good. Digital citizenship is stressed.

We don't allow him on social media yet. As for bullying of any kind, it is something we discuss often but in other, real-life situations, as opposed to on the internet.

She sets pretty clear boundaries with her friends. She's selective and is not afraid to block someone.

Parents need to have all passwords for the kids' devices to check on things.

Picture of Blossom with a laptop

I have a code on it so they can only use it when we say it's okay. And no screen time before school.

My child doesn't have online profiles on any site. He just surfs online.

My preschooler knows that he is only supposed to watch age appropriate videos when borrowing the iPad. When he takes the iPad into his bedroom (to be alone) it is a sure sign that he is trying to watch a video that is intended for older children (usually the 10+ age crowd.) This is why he is only allowed to use the iPad when he is in view of his parents.

My kids don't use technology as a social tool. They are not allowed to use Facebook or Twitter or any other social network, they just use it to learn and improve their skills.

We don't allow social media (they're too young for it!) and internet access is very public in our home, which tends to govern itself.

One kid has a TracFone, and that is only for checking in after the older one gets out of school so that I can tell her either to walk home or walk to her sibling's elementary school. There is no text on it. She does IM (iPod) but I check those about once a week and have deleted things sent to her and told her about not forwarding chain letters. We have also discussed tone and how what goes out on the internet is forever.

We feel that it should be up to each family to decide what their children should use. I do feel that there should always be some sort of monitoring and some things should be expressly restricted.

Picture of Ruff looking at a screen

We have an open dialogue about what is appropriate and what is not. And she knows to come tell me if she sees something she shouldn't so we can figure out how to avoid it.

Playing video games are great to learn problem solving, dedication and hard work to reach a goal, and how to handle wins and defeats gracefully. We encourage our kids to play video games. We do not limit their game time — we want them to learn to set their own limits, and so far it's worked great. Tech devices are just a medium, and we provide plenty of outdoor activities to provide balance.

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