Not so long ago I had a conversation with some Year 6 children I was teaching about the fact that one of the girls felt she “needed” a new phone. I questioned the word “need” and we talked about the fact that I didn’t have a mobile at their age and that in fact I didn’t have a mobile until I was almost 19 years old. A mobile which didn’t even send text messages never mind take photos or access the internet. Social Media? It didn’t even exist.
Of course my own children are being brought up in very different times. Times where mobile phones, tablets and electrical entertainment gadgets are the norm. Dave and I luckily have quite similar attitudes on our children’s use of these sorts of things and have been keen to limit them. Our phones have always been just that; our phones – the kids would never even think to ask to play on them as it’s just never happened. (Eee I sound mean don’t I?) Ben got his own tablet for his 5th birthday and Chloe one for her 4th (mainly in preparation for our long journey to France!) We decided it would be best for them have their own tablets so that we could make sure they were set up appropriately for them.
We are quite strict about the smart devices in our household. Ben and Chloe each have their own tablets and a Digigo which they share. Amy, at 2 years old, has nothing and nor do I think she should have. The tablets have an password protected adult control so that the children can only access their own profiles and a range of films and apps which Dave has carefully chosen and downloaded for them.
We have a set of “rules” for their smart devices which include:
* No tablets after tea
* No tablets upstairs
* Screen time is time limited and when you’re time is up you give the device back straight away or lose your next turn
Despite having quite strict rules for our children and their use of technology, Dave and I are not exactly following the same code ourselves. I hold my hands up to checking my phone while I’m eating, in bed or faffing about on it whilst he’s driving (which I know irritates him).
The guys at VTech would love to know what rules you have around smart devices in your house sharing your stories using the hashtag #DigiGoetiquette