We gave into the relentless requests of our 12 year old daughter, and gave her my old iPhone for her birthday this year. While we did not turn on the cellular service, we handed her a device that would allow her to communicate with her friends and classmates while connected to Wi-Fi. Many of her friends have had iPhones and Smartphones for years, but we felt strongly about waiting until she was older. On the advice of technology gurus Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, we want to limit our kids smartphone use for as long as we can.
We gave her rules, installed parental restrictions, followed online safety guidelines. We talked about cyber bullying, inappropriate texting, pornography, and discussed what to do if any of these situations present themselves. We also followed the great advice of our siblings and friends with older kids and decided that the phone would be charged in the kitchen each night and not be allowed in her bedroom.
But setting rules and following them are sometimes easier said than done. We quickly realized that the behaviors we were exhibiting did not match the behaviors that we were expecting from our daughter. So we decided that some technology down time for the whole family was in order. We set a docking time for the entire family.
We decided to post it in our kitchen. Having it in a common area makes the enforcement of it work even when we have guests over. It's rewarding to see them dock their devices, too.
With 3 iPhones and an iPad in the house, finding chargers each evening to charge the devices was shaving years off my life. And forget it if I gave up searching for the elusive cords and bricks and just let the device die. Because the wrath of that decision was always regrettable. Always.
Then we found this charging station and let me tell you, it's a game changer. Devices have to be turned in at the set time each evening and they stay there until morning. No more dead batteries to stress over at breakfast, and I can easily see that each device is accounted for. Everything is neat and tidy and it doesn't take up much space at all.
We know that taming technology will be a life long challenge. But we are up for it. Here are a few others rules that our family tries to follow every day.
Try New Things
Go Play Outside
How do you handle devices in your home? Share your advice with us in the comments.
xo ~ kristi
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