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Setting Tech Boundaries The Whole Family Can Agree on

Growing up we weren’t allowed to watch TV, and I can still remember my siblings and I turning off the TV and running into the study the moment we hear my Dad pull up in the drive away. We joke about it now, but as kids, it took some getting use to.  My family, on the other hand, is obsessed with tech. As we embark on a New Year, it’s time to reflect on what’s working and make a commitment to fix what’s not. Last Year, one of my marriage resolution was to stop multitasking and live in the moment. That means technology-free nights. If I had to grade myself, that was one aspect, that wasn’t a success. So as a family going into 2017, one of our New Year resolutions is setting tech boundaries the whole family can get behind.

Hopefully making it a family affair will work to my advantage. I can hear you gasp; you mean no technology? No, we can’t be a tech-free house, my paycheck depends on it. It’s just being responsible with our time and using tech efficiently. That means less time wasting on social media.  I know it won’t be easy, but I am up for the challenge. When I am whiling away time on social media, the kids are on Minecraft, Temple Run or YouTube, following in my footsteps. I’m always complaining about how much time they spend on their tablet, yet I do the same thing if not worse.

So as we get ready to embrace 2017, we are making every effort, to disconnect more. I will automate work related items and set designated social media time with strict restrictions and self-control on my end. Our plan is to start small, it won’t happen overnight, that isn’t realistic at least not in my house. So if you’re a tech-obsessed family like mine, maybe you can join us on our journey. Well, here is what we have planned, taking it one day at a time.

Setting Tech Boundaries The Whole Family Can Agree on

  • No TV before bed. That means unplugging at least an hour before bed. This hopefully will be easier because “technology free dinner” and all. This will help us relax and unwind before heading to bed.
  • Leave the tablets at home. If the trip isn’t longer than an hour, encourage the kids to leave their tablets behind. That means when you go out to dinner; the tablet stays behind. It will be an opportunity to talk without any distractions.
  • You’ve talked about creating technology free dinner time, go ahead and take the plunge on that. Verizon Fios makes it easy. Just log onto your account and go to services, Fios router, Devices & Parental controls. You can schedule access to WiFi for each device or the entire house. I know it’s a bit extreme, but a family that can’t stay offline, this could be the solution.
  • Delete Facebook Messenger. One of the reasons, it seems I always get lost in the Facebook abyss is due to message notifications. Yes, I can quickly turn off notification, but I know the type of person that I am, it will haunt me, and I will check it constantly so turning off notification won’t work. So just go to the app store and click uninstall.
  • Install Offtime. If you’re the type of person, who is always checking your phone. Download an app to help with your social media addiction. Offtime will contribute to blocking access to specified apps, and you will never have to deal with the distraction of social media, at least not during the hours, you have set.
  • Fall in love with Reading. Reading is a gateway. Pick a book genre and start reading. If you need recommendations, here are some. The kids can join in as well. 
  • Set up a family game night to make sure the kids stay engaged. To do this, here are some family-friendly board games to get started. I know some families that swear by game night. It’s an opportunity for them to sit down, connect and have some fun.
  • Self-Control. I know it’s easier said than done but I am hoping as a family we will hold each other accountable for our actions.

These are lofty goals, but I’m excited to see how we move forward heading into 2017. As we move into the New Year, we will make every effort to be intentional about the time with spend on our devices and I am keeping my fingers crossed for a successful 2017. Do you have any resolution for the New Year, if so what steps are you taking to achieve them?

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Are you looking for ways to simplify and enjoy life by setting technology boundaries for the whole family? Check out these friendly tips

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post with Verizon Fios. However, all opinions expressed are 100% mine. 

Kira is the founder of award-winning lifestyle blog focused on family, tech, fashion, beauty, food, fitness, and travel. Prior to launching The Afropolitan Mom, she was a marketing executive in the technology industry. She lives in the suburb of NJ with her husband and two kids. When she's not on carpool duty or scrolling through Insta, she spends time adding items to her shopping cart while binge-watching shows on Netflix!

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