recharging families through healthy digital habits
Kids are spending unprecedented amounts of time watching videos and playing games online. Transitioning between online and offline can be difficult and tantrum-ridden. Unfortunately, our children are mostly passively watching videos, the most common form of digital engagement for young people.
Many parents say it is difficult to raise kids today, largely blaming technology and social media. But kids are not the only ones fascinated by their digital worlds. Parents are now spending as much time with screens as they spend asleep. Kids are tired of parents ignoring them; a third say they feel unimportant when parents are on their phones.
What We Can Do
Young people and parents alike want to improve their relationships with technology. More than half of teens have tried to limit social media use. Parents are also eager to make peace with their smartphones and inboxes. Many families want to improve, but they need a realistic path forward.
Digital Detangler offers four in-person sessions to help families gain a better understanding of where their tech time is going (session one) and make choices to nudge the family toward more mindful use (session two). Then we assess opportunities to tweak the choices (session three) for improved results, ultimately creating a specific and doable plan for lasting change (session four).
Our first session will include getting everyone on the same page. For young people it's about exploring the science behind compulsive tech use. For parents, it's about understanding the social world of teens. We'll set up diagnostic software on child and parent devices to close the session.
Armed with data about where our time online is really going, we'll discuss reasonable uses and those that are outside the bounds of the family's values. All family members will set up structures to make sure that they can follow through on commitments they make to one another.
Having spent at least a week with new patterns of technology use in place, we'll reexamine how well the interventions have worked. Sometimes we'll need to double down on unhealthy habits; other times we may need to loosen up overly strict structures.
In our last session, we'll take a look at opportunities to solidify our new healthy habits. We'll make sure that everyone in the family takes responsibility for the role their technology use plays in family health. We'll outline ways to handle future conflicts that arise as the family grows and changes.