Ever since we started our series of blogs and newsletters, we have written about technology and social media, the effect they can have on our kids, and how they can be managed with Love and Logic skills. It seems that every year we hear that changes in technology are creating more problems for kids as well as their parents.
Despite these changes, the Love and Logic approach for managing technology has remained consistent—appropriate monitoring and control, with a strong focus on developing a healthy and loving relationship between parents and their kids. We believe that establishing a solid parent-child relationship is essential for being able to manage our kids’ use of technology.
A Love and Logic technique that can enhance the parent-child relationship is the one-sentence intervention. You can use this whenever kids are doing something that they enjoy. Always start with, “I noticed that….” For example:
I noticed that you like to draw. I noticed that.
Resist the urge to give praise or say something like, “That’s great!” By simply focusing on what kids do well, without excessive praise, we show them that we genuinely like and appreciate them.
Setting appropriate limits with love and empathy is also important for the parent-child relationship. The basic limit with technology can be something like:
I allow you to use your phone as long as it does not hurt our relationship.
Using just this one rule about technology is much more effective than developing too many rules that cannot be enforced.
With improved relationships with their kids, parents can then have conversations about technology use by asking open-ended questions. Some examples of questions related to technology use are:
What do you think a kid should do if they are being bullied online?
Would you rather mess around outside, play a board game with your friends, or play video games?
Why do you think that some kids kind of get addicted to playing video games or being online?
Asking these questions can stimulate conversations that will give kids the opportunity to express their opinions, get them doing lots of critical thinking, and allows the parents to give choices within limits.
For a more in-depth exploration of technology use by kids, listen to our new audio, Healthy Kids and Families in a Technology-Filled World: Heart-Level Solutions.
Thanks for reading!