Managing tech at home during the holidays
Family guidelines for new tech devices
“We used (this) contract in our home when my son got his first smartphone... it’s a great resource.” - Kim Schiffman, editor-in-chief at Today’s Parent
You just gave your kid a new smartphone, tablet or computer and they are beyond excited – but how can you make sure they’re using it wisely?
MediaSmarts has created a contract for parents and guardians to give to their kids along with their new devices, in order to spark a conversation about healthy digital habits and set practical family online rules.
Surviving the gimme season
For parents, this time of year can feel like walking through a minefield, with ads, decorations and music all aimed at getting kids excited about the holidays. Every year children eagerly ask Santa for the “hottest,” “must-have” toys – and then turn that “pester power” on their parents. Here are some tips on how to control holiday consumerism.
A Co-Viewing Christmas: Dealing with problematic classics
Many families have media traditions around the holidays – whether that’s watching A Charlie Brown Christmas together or staging a Mario Kart tournament on New Year’s Day. It’s great to make media a family activity, and it’s also an opportunity to co-view with your kids. In fact, holiday movies practically demand co-viewing: whether your tastes run to It’s a Wonderful Life, Die Hard or Christmas Vacation, odds that that if you watch with your (appropriately-aged) kids you’ll see something that makes you uncomfortable. Maybe it’s a racist stereotype in a cartoon, or a scene that makes stalking and harassment look romantic, or yet another kids’ movie with just one female character. What do you say?
Four tips for managing your kids’ screen time
If you’ve ever seen kids’ eyes glaze over during the third hour of a cartoon marathon, or had to take away a game device over pleas to “just let me finish this level,” you have some idea why screen time is an issue. Here are four important steps to take to keep screen time under control and make screen use a valuable part of your kids’ lives.