I remember when my Dad got his first mobile phone, we were all thought it was so flash… but really it looked like a brick with a stick coming out the top and you almost needed two hands to hold it up to your ear! Thank goodness we’ve come a long way since then.
I’ve found the kids haven’t been that interested in getting their own phones until recently, and even though I keep reminding them that I was 27 YEARS OLD when I got my first mobile (obviously way behind the times) I’ve realised it’s actually become a necessity for them to have one.
With four big kids who all walk to three different schools most days, we also now have a kindy kid and a baby. So not only are they in different directions, I am too. There always seems to be a hold up somewhere or a change of plan so it’s good to know that we can contact each other when we need to. But of course with young kids and phones, it’s not always that helpful; it can’t be a pain at times too!
I noticed when the three big kids first got their phones they would come home from school and start playing games or in Lucy’s case make dance videos. At first I thought the odd half hour was fine but all of a sudden they were on them most of the time and I was constantly telling them to get off! So we decided a few rules needed to be put in place otherwise it was going to get out of control.
Now when the kids come home from school they have to put their phones on the bench in the kitchen. They can check for messages any time but that’s it, they don’t need to play on them because that’s not what we got them for. No phones after dinner, there are enough things going on already so we don’t need to be distracted by devices. I even find if I’m on a computer or scrolling through my phone too late then my mind is stimulated and I haven’t had the wind down I need to be able to sleep so I can only imagine what it does for young minds.
We’ve also created “spot checks” where Brent and I can look at their phones at any time and check up on them. It could be a few times a week or it might only be once every couple of weeks, if there’s nothing to hide, there’s no need to panic.
So far our system seems to be working well but like anything we still need to keep on top of it. I’m sure as the kids get older and their needs change so will the rules.
If you’ve got any tips and tricks on managing technology, it would be great to hear.