Getting back into the new school year routine also means re-establishing technology rules and use of screen-time. Being intentional about technology use and modeling positive digital engagement at home can help students lead balanced lives and be positive digital citizens.
Head of Lower School Bill Mulcahy shares these five simple—but important—reminders to follow to promote safe and balanced digital use at home:
- Model being present with your children—It sounds simplistic, but put your phone away as much as you can! Countless researchers, including MIT professor Sherry Turkle, author of the book Alone Together, have shown the isolating and disconnecting affects that parental overuse of technology has on families.
- Avoid using technology as an emotional pacifier—Children need to be taught how to identify and handle strong emotions, come up with activities to manage boredom, or calm down through breathing, talking about ways to solve the problem, and finding other strategies for channeling emotions. Defaulting to technology prevents children from doing so.
- Know your children's digital lives—Just as parents get to know their children's friends and the activities that they engage in and enjoy offline, be sure to do the same online by knowing what platforms, software, and apps your children are using, in addition to what websites they are visiting.
- Do your homework—Take advantage of resources like Common Sense Media to determine the appropriateness of apps, games, and programs online. Also, use online resources from local libraries, and our school library here at Country Day, to help students navigate the web safely.
- Have conversations about responsible use—Similar to skills like empathy and resilience, digital citizenship must be taught both at home and at school. Talk with your children about responsible digital use. If you have questions, don't hesitate to reach out to us for help.