In our house technology is a tool. It is not moral: neither good nor bad. While it can be used for good and it can be used for bad, in and of itself it is neither. Technology is just a tool.
As my children grow we find ourselves needing to reevaluate our relationship with and usage of technology. So we held a family tech summit for the beginning of the school year to set new goals and boundaries.
We began by asking the family to evaluate our family’s current relationship with technology. My youngest provided the perfect Exhibit A that we have room for improvement as he ran around screaming that he didn’t want to sit at the table he wanted to go a play Lego Star Wars video game.
Our discussion with the older boys (ages 12 and 14) lasted over an hour and we covered a lot of ground. Some of the questions we covered included:
- How can we use tech for good?
- What obstacles prevent us from doing more good?
- How does technology sometimes hold us back?
- How can we gain better control over tech?
- What are healthy boundaries we should set for our family?
While I’m certain we have a long way to go, I’m also confident that we are on the right track. We opened a channel of communication and have allowed them the opportunity to weigh in on rules and guidelines. They used their own critical thinking and problem solving skills toward positive solutions. With them as part of the solution, I think they’ll be more likely to try.
We then concluded our discussion with making a list of screen-free alternatives. Sometimes when you know you can’t do something, it’s all you can think of. This way we’ve got a handy list of activities they can do.
How do you handle tech in your home? Has it evolved with time?