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Top 10 Parenting Tips for Family Use of Technology and Media

  1. Technology should serve your family and bring you closer together; it should not make your family its servant and keep you apart.
  2. Parents are their children’s first and best teachers. Model appropriate technology and media behavior for your kids.
  3. Using cell phones, computers, televisions and other electronic devices is a privilege for kids, not a right. 
  4. Set a family media policy. Decide who can use what forms of technology, what constitutes appropriate content for each one,  when and where it’s acceptable to use each one, and how you will monitor usage. Make sure everyone in the family knows the policy.
  5. Establish appropriate consequences, both positive and negative, for technology and media usage. Communicate those consequences clearly and often to your kids.
  6. Establish “technology-free” zones and times in your home when you all “unplug” and concentrate on talking with each other and enjoying each other’s company.
  7. Help your children achieve balance in their lives by encouraging them to stay physically active, enjoy reading, and relax and have fun without electronics.
  8. Take advantage of resources that “watch” media content, and use them to help you decide when you should say “Yes” or say “No” to your children’s media/technology use.
  9. Talk with other parents. Let them know what your family technology and media policy is and ask how they handle those issues in their homes. Support each other in helping kids use technology and media safely and appropriately. 
  10. The Boys Town National Hotline can provide parenting advice and resources 24/7, year-round if you have a concern about your kids. Call 1-800-448-3000.
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