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START Rules of Thumb
START WITH YOURSELF
model healthy tech use for your kids
When studies show the average person checks a smartphone 80 times per day, we need to think about what we are modeling for our kids. Of course, we will never be perfect…but an honest look at our own digital habits is a great first step toward building empathy, trust, and digital health as a family .
TABLES + BEDTIMES
create device-free zones
Establish device-free zones in your home—a time to recharge and reconnect as a family. A great place to start is mealtimes and bedtimes—keep phones out of sight when you are eating and have kids charge their devices outside of their bedrooms at night. The benefits are powerful, and can create lifelong habits that foster your child’s mental health and digital well-being.
apply filters + settings + openness
When navigating the internet, your family should apply the highest privacy settings and practices. But, when it comes to child privacy, the opposite is true. Your child’s digital life—including passwords– should be shared with you at all times. For additional accountability, avoid using devices in private.
RIDE. PRACTICE. DRIVE.
use a driver’s ed approach to tech training
Before you hand your kids the keys to a car, you prepare them to navigate risky situations and road hazards. They spend many years shadowing you in the backseat, followed by driving with a learner’s permit—with you logging hours by their side to equip them with the needed skills. Just like a car, tech comes with great responsibility—and requires an intentional training process.
TIME WELL SPENT
connect online + Offline
Keep your eye on what matters most—the life right in front of you. Be intentional about deepening connections with people in your family and community—both online and offline. Show your kids how to be captivated by life—not screens. Teach them to ask this simple question: at the end of my life, what will I say was time well spent?