We have strict rules regarding technology in our house for the kids. The last thing I want is for their brains to be overstimulated and their bodies to be without exercise and fresh air. However, my son said something the other day that really got me thinking. I heard him say to another kid, “My mom is on her computer all the time.” My immediate thought was, no I’m not! But once I calmed down and thought about it, I realized he was right. I needed to limit screen time for myself.
We moms are good at preaching the problems that arise when our kids spend too much time online. But do our own online and social media habits line up with what we’re teaching our kids? Here are 4 ways to be a good online example.
1. How Much Time Do You Invest?
When your kids reflect back on their childhoods one day, the last thing you want them to envision is their mom on the sofa staring at her laptop. The constant accessibility of the internet through our phones and other wireless devices last thing makes it easy for that to be something you “go to” by default every time you stop moving. Consider tracking the number of times you log on per day and how long you stay on for a period of time (count all devices, even your smartphone)–you may be shocked at the totals!
When your kids reflect back on their childhoods one day, the last thing you want them to envision is their mom on the sofa staring at her laptop.
2. Do You Have Boundaries?
Even if you spend a modest amount of time online, think about when and where you do it. Can checking Facebook wait until the kids are in bed? Are you constantly checking email and text messages while the kids are trying to tell you about their day? Look at the schedule and set up some designated online time, and leave the computer or your smartphone off or on silent during the hours when your kids need you most.
3. Do You Have Strict Standards?
Maintain integrity with regard to what the standards should be for your kids and yourself online. If you’ve given your children strict instructions about who it’s OK to “friend” or “follow” on a social media site, make sure you’re following the same rules. The same goes for the types of websites you visit.
4. Watch What You Share
It seems that young people are very unguarded about the types of personal information they’ll freely share online—but some adults are just as bad. Make sure you’re not a mom who over-shares about yourself or your family in your online life. Even things that just seem funny to you may seem personal to your kids or spouse, so ask before you post.
Tell Us! Do you limit your own screen time?