MEDIA, TECH & KIDS

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Top Tips to #KeepKidsTechSafe While We #StayHome

So much about life right now feels unfamiliar and uncertain, and it can be hard to navigate as a parent. Above all else, we want to support our kids so they can make sense of what’s going on around them, and emerge from this experience with a greater sense of self and resilience.

 

Some truths California kids are facing right now: they’re not in school, they’re apart from their friends, and most of them are spending more time using technology and staring at screens than ever before. Many children are experiencing screen-based education and socialization for the first time. All that change and disruption would be unsettling enough, without the fear of illness and the reality of financial strain.

 

The last thing we want is to add to our kids’ stress - or our own - by setting unrealistic expectations around screentime while we are stuck indoors with atypical routines, and then get upset when we can’t stick to healthy screentime.

 

At the same time, we know kids need boundaries, and that unlimited access to screens and the internet can be unhealthy, addictive, and triggering. Every child is different, and only you know what’s the best approach for your family. We have compiled the advice and consensus from the organizations and individuals who have the deepest experience with media, tech, and its impact on kids so you have it all in one place as you determine how to see your kids through this trying time.

How to Keep Tech from Taking Over

  • Turn off all notifications except from people

  • Create tech-free zones

  • Protect sleep

  • Go Grayscale

  • First things first

Getting the Best from Media and Tech

All screen time is not the same. Especially now – when time with tech is hard to limit – focus your attention on the quality of content and online activities.

Make a call or send an audio note instead of texting, which is impersonal and easy to misinterpret

“Educational” apps for kids – do your homework to ensure their quality

Watch things together and set age-appropriate limits and controls on your children’s devices, so they are not stumbling onto inappropriate content

Warn children about the importance of privacy and the dangers of predators and sexting

Promote gender equity, and ensure our state’s media and technology industries are a force for good in child development. 

 

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