OK~ With a new school year upon us, I thought I'd share my top tips to help you and your family handle some of the technology issues that will be tossed your way during the new school year. Have open conversations with your kids and read this parent/child agreement with your kids, this will open the communication lines. With schools using social media to send out more information, you will want to pay attention to social media. Here you will find timely information, as well as tips to help your kids get the most out of the school year.
FOLDER WITH ALL PASSWORDS
Have a folder that has all the passwords to all of the social media accounts in your household. Yes, this may be a big file, but it's better to be safe than sorry. I have personally seen way too many Facebook accounts where parents have given their tweens free range and found conversations through private messages that were not good. Be a smart parent and know who your kids are chatting with online. You can be "that" parent! This, in my opinion, is not helicopter parenting, it's being smart.
BASKET FOR PHONES IN THE KITCHEN
Set a time, each evening, where all cell phones head to a basket that includes a charging station. Start this from day 1, as in the day you hand your child a cell phone to use. If kids don't know any different, they will place their phones here nightly. This will give them a full charge for the following day and you can be assured that they will be able to call you after school for a ride home.
DO NOT TEXT YOUR KIDS DURING THE SCHOOL DAY
I cannot tell you how many times I have had conversations with educators, in regards to parents and texting. Kids have no reason to be texting throughout the school day. If parents need to message their kids, in regards to transportation after or before school, wait until the end of the school day or call the office at the school. There are staff at schools that are able to manage calls and transportation issues from parents. Better yet, discuss your child's after school transportation needs before the school day is underway.
Smart phones are a great educational tool. If your kids' teachers have assignments and projects that involve using smart phones, be sure you understand the assignment. There are several fun, educational apps and experiences for you and your family to use. Be smart and use your cell phones wisely and you will have a great year!
Do you and your family have rules that you follow when it comes to the use of smart phones in your home? If so... I'd love to hear what you are doing to encourage online safety. After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?