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Below are some great resources for you as a parent!

1. Check out Johnathan Haidt’s new book here!

Below are Haidt’s 4 rules for parents: 

  1. No smartphone until high school
  2. No social media until age 16
  3. School is a phone free zone
  4. More free play

2. Check out The Social Dilemma on Netflix as a family. You can watch the trailer here.

Have a conversation as a family about the pros and cons of social media. Ask your questions with sincere interest. Remember, the key is to help your kids begin to understand how destructive their relationship with their phone and social media can be if abused.  This way, they can make the decision on their own without you to limit their screen time and take their life back into their own hands. You want them onboard and choosing the best decision for their own life as opposed to just being forced to do something against their will. Prepare them for the road ahead so they can handle it and not the other way around.

3. Watch The Social Media Dangers Documentary – Childhood 2.0 on YouTube together as a family. 

This should really wake all of you up to the dangers that go along with unfettered access and supervision to the internet. Again, have a discussion as a family about what you watched.  Here are some sample questions: What do you like about social media? What don’t you like about social media? What do you see as the benefits of social media? What do you see as the dangers and negative side of social media? What apps are your friends using? What apps do you want to be on? How long do you think your screen time should be per day? What do you think our agreement should be if you do something you shouldn’t do on your phone?  Have a real conversation and come up with an agreement on the terms of all things phone and social media BEFORE you go down that path.

4. Create a contract between you and your teenager. You can download our PDF version here or you can download an editable version here.

5. Set up systems! This is essential and will change your child’s life for the  better. 

Things to consider include: 

  • A time limit that will  lock your kid out of the apps once they hit their limit for the day (I highly recommend 60 minutes of combined time a day max for them to be able to use all the social media apps)
  • No phones out at dinner (yes, that includes you parents)
  • No phone in the bedroom (sleep is vital, have a place where the kids can charge their phones overnight outside of the designated sleep zone)
  • Snapchat is a no go! (Sorry kids!)
  • Create their social media accounts as a secondary account to yours so you can see all of the action and prevent safety concerns, non-sense and protect your child.
  • Utilize the resources from Apple, Android or whatever other phone provider you use directly to set up your child’s phone so you have the settings set up correctly so you can put in place timers and monitor all of their activity. It’s a little bit of work on the front end but absolutely must be done and worth the effort! Check out this additional page of info that is helpful from Apple.
  • Set hours around phone usage. Example: No phone after 9pm on school nights and 11pm on the weekends, etc. Also, limiting phone use in the morning is hugely beneficial so that is something to consider as well! 
  • What are some things your kid needs to do to earn their phone each day or maintain it? Chores? Good grades? Exercise? Reading 20 pages? Pick some things together and make it fun. Remember, having a phone is a privilege not a right!

6. Consider downloading the #1 screen time app Opal or if you are really serious about improving the quality of you and your families life you can look at getting the Aro box which allows you to lock your phone up and live your life to the fullest!

7. Follow @ProtectYoungEyes on social media for all the latest and greatest information on how you as a parent can stay on top of all things social media related. You can check out our interview on our podcast