For the past three months, your teen has had the luxury and freedom to bask in the glow of the TV or mobile device of his choosing. But pretty soon he’s going to have to juggle homework and extra-curricular activities once again. With school right around the corner, you might be wondering how to get your teen back into the swing of things.
In April, we interviewed Janell Burley Hofmann about her iPhone contract. Janell is a mother of 5 tech-savvy kids. She wrote a contract for each of them outlining how she expects them to use their iPhones and other devices. Since school is starting soon, we thought we would revisit the tech contract and focus on three ways a tech contract can benefit your family.
Set some ground rules now and reduce arguments about tech later. A tech contract gets everyone on the same page. Each family member, including the parents, has the same expectations and rules regarding tech usage. Creating these shared expectations helps remind you and your kids that you are all on the same team.
Create Positive Tech Habits
Janell’s iPhone Contract is more about creating positive habits than it is about rules. These positive habits can filter into real-life as well. For instance, rule #3 of the iPhone Contract says, “If it (the iPhone) rings, answer it. Say hello, use your manners.” Rule #7 states, “Do not involve yourself in conversations that are hurtful to others.” These are both important habits for digital communication and also for real-life communication. Other habits, like homework first, then tech, helps students learn to manage their time by setting a simple foundation.
More Quality Time
As mentioned before, this tech contract will help keep everyone on the same page. That includes you, the parent. Remember: you are all on the same team and even parents need help to develop healthy tech habits. So, because everyone is abiding by the same tech habits, you’ll have fewer arguments about tech. And that means you will enjoy more quality time together.
Have you tried setting up a tech contract for your teen? Tell us how it’s going.
Sara Woodard-Ortiz, owner of The HeartFull Journey, is an ally for heartbroken moms who are going through separation and divorce. Her goal is to help moms love themselves during and after divorce as a way to build a foundation to attract a new, satisfying relationship. Sara lives in Danville, IL with her daughter, Olivia, and their cats, Bianca and Katniss. When Sara is not working on her business, you can find her playing Minecraft or drinking coffee at a local cafè.