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How YOU use technology might be negatively impacting how your KIDS use technology

I know. Technology and parenting is hard! It is hard because most of the technology we interact with is designed to capture and hold our attention. But it can also be really hard because as parents, we’ve modelled behaviours that are not so ideal, and then are trying to walk back why it is ok for us to do it, but not ok for our kids to do it. And as I’ve said before, kids are VERY good at identifying when something feels unfair!

So today I’m giving you the challenge to reflect on your own technology use (SNEAKY PEAKY – ConnectEd are working on a FREE project over the next little while to give you some tips, resources and motivation to manage your technology use and relationships. Make sure you give the page a like so you’ll see when we announce it).

Typically when I ask parents about their technology use they either:

a) Don’t really know how much they use their device/s

b) Quickly jump into telling me how what they do is needed (for work, for the juggle, for home etc) before I’ve even said anything.

One of my favourite tricks when presenting on technology and young people is, part-way through the presentation, point out how many parents I’ve seen use their device during my presentation (typically at least 50%). The reaction is a bit like b) above, which is to tell me why they needed to. To which my reply is, and that’s what I bet your kids tell you as well!

As the very wise Dr Phil says (note: Dr Phil is not actually wise) – “you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge”. So right now, get your iphone or android phone and have a look at your screen time settings. For iPhone – look for Screen Time. For Android – look for Digital Wellbeing. Check back through the last few weeks and see how you feel about how much you are using your phone.

The second step – find a space in your house to put your phone/laptop/tablet and try to keep putting it there more often. Not only will that help you find it when you need it. But by taking it away from easy reach, it will help you resist the temptation to pick it up and scroll!

Just like your kids, changing our own tech habits can be hard! But you’ve got this!

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At ConnectEd Counselling and Consultancy, we believe that all families, and the communities they belong to, benefit from a little extra care and support. Whether the problems are big or small, we want to make sure everyone has the chance to feel connected – to themselves, to others and to their community. We offer counselling services to young people and families and have immediate availability. If you need some support, get in touch here: https://connectedcc.com.au/book-now/

(Written by: Dr Matt O’Connor)

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