In this weeks episode we talk about the START method that the organization We Start Now has provided on their website www.westartnow.org and on their instagram @we.start.now. Below is their "Rules of Thumb" method and START method that have helped hundreds of families navigate social media standards and norms.
S - 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 .
T - TURN IN ZONES
Create device free rhythms and spaces. Establish device-free zones throughout your daily routine—a time to recharge and reconnect with one another. 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.
A - ACCOUNTABILITY
Apply filters + settings + openness. While there is no filtering or parental control product that is 100% foolproof, our kids deserve the highest level filters we can provide. These are only safety nets; the first line of defense should be open relationships with trusted adults who can help children navigate the dangers they run into online. Accidents are bound to happen, and when they do, adults should be prepared to remain calm so kids know we are safe harbor.
R - 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.
T - 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?
They have a Social Media Playbook which is can be a starter for families struggling keep social media in the proper place with their children.
2020 Annual Report on Children’s Digital Habits
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