As parents, the time when we really feel the need to address a problem, an issue or an argument that we have with our child is often when it is happening, or just after it has happened. This is such a normal reaction. Our body is maybe pumping with adrenaline, we can see solutions in front of us, we need to get the energy out and try and “fix” the terrible experience we just had. However, when we try and do this, rarely do we get the outcome we hoped for.
At Dolly’s Dream we are aware of the role technology plays as a battleground for many of these moments. And, what we have learnt from psychologists and advisors is that trying to solve an issue around technology just before, during or after a child has engaged with their favourite video game or app is not the best time to do it. And, to double down, definitely doing it when you have had an argument around digital technology and the amount of time a child is on it, or what they have been watching, or why they can’t download <insert social media app here> is a bad idea.
This is one of the reasons we create a new type of Family Technology Plan. There is no need to spend a whole hour going over complex tables or forms, but five question areas that can be covered in a 15-minute family chat. But, it isn’t for doing in the moment of an argument, it is for doing as a whole family when everyone is calm and open to having a conversation.
We know family conversations can be awkward and uncomfortable and that is why the format offered by the Family Tech Plan is straight forward and gives space for everyone to talk. It also means that the emotion and the heightened experience of being in an argument or having one person in front of a computer and the other trying to resolve an issue is taken away. When doing your Plan our advice is:
- Schedule a time a few days ahead and have it at a time when everyone is home.
- Make sure everyone turns of phones and technology before you start
- Set an end time of 15-20 minutes and if you haven’t done by then – stop where you are, print out what you have, and return to it in a week or two
- Don’t let a single argument be the driver for doing a plan, make it part of your family routine.
Start you family conversations using the Family Technology Plan today.