December marks that time of year when many children hope that digital devices will be part of their holiday experience. From gift requests for new devices/games to school breaks that allow for extended game play and social media use, families often find themselves immersed in all things technology throughout the holiday season.
“Whether we’re educators or parents, we all want the best for kids. This winter break, let’s embrace their love of entertainment and tech. Let’s sit next to them, ask them what they’re watching, and find out what they like about it.” – Erin Wilkey Oh, Content Director, Family and Community Engagement – Common Sense Media
Entertainment and tech have the potential to spark meaningful conversations, and tech planners are a great way for kids to have a shared understanding of how your family makes the most out of entertainment and tech time.
Use these Common Sense Media tech planners to help your children think through important questions around tech use:
What devices will I use?
When will I use these devices? For how long?
How can I be safe while using these devices?
How can I be kind while using these devices?
How can I make sure I balance my time on a device with some device-free time?
Am I making thoughtful choices about what I share and how I interact with others?
Children and families can join in the fun together by following some of these suggestions:
- Communicate through tech. Send a text to your child or send them a photo on Snapchat to let them know you are up to date on their communication methods and are thinking about them throughout the day.
- Rate some TikTok videos. Find some wholesome videos on TikTok and rate them for categories like: best dance moves, funniest, saddest, cringiest, most unique, and best tips/advice. Better yet, create a TikTok as a family.
- Document your time together. Start a family blog or create some online photo albums or videos to share your fun activities with family and friends who are not able to join you in person.
- Test out your gaming skills. Join your child on Roblox, in Minecraft, or on their favorite gaming platform to test your skills and find out more about what they are doing during those many hours of game play.
This winter break, we challenge you to reflect on how technology can draw you closer to your children instead of pulling you apart. We encourage you to discuss the role tech plays in your home and make plans for how you navigate the digital world together.