How To Start The Tech Conversation With Our Kiddos

Nico turned 6 only 3 months ago and it feels like he’s growing into a little teen slowly. He started kindergarten (I’m still crying, trust me) and we integrated new traditions and habits into our family routine, like doing weekly activities and understanding that school brings some rules we never had before, including how we use tech and screen time on weekdays and weekends.
Like most parents and friends, we try to control and keep a balance between screen time and other activities, and I know how hard it can be (at first, I was that mom saying only 30 minutes! that’s it! and yes, I’m so guilty of saying all this before I was a mom of two…), and honestly, my work became 80% digital on the phone or laptop or computer, so it would be totally unrealistic and misleading to pretend I have a strict relationship with technology at home.
Giving Nico (and recently, Oli) limited time to watch TV and use our phones is totally appropriate. We all know technology has become an essential tool in our daily lives, right? and knowing the importance of it, this year we are proud to have our family join the TELUS family to echo its call for responsibility when it comes to building a safer digital world. We can, and should, all help put an end to cyberbullying. 

Here are some tips I’ve been using at home with Nicoas well as little rules we have set up for how is screen time can be used:

what we do on weekdays

Mornings: We start our mornings with a simple rule: no screen time during breakfast and before school/daycare. They understood this pretty quickly and we found ways to keep both Nico and Oli occupied like picking their clothes, helping mama serve breakfast and table or packing the lunch box. 

Evenings: While I cook supper, they usually select one TV show so I have time to set up everything. At the table, no tech is allowed (and yes, mom and dad play by that rule too!) so we can all chat about our day, how we made a difference in others’ lives today (our friends at We inspire us to embed those questions in our day-to-day), and more.It is my favorite part of my day, I’m always looking forward to it! After we eat, wash our hands and leave everything clean, they have a bit more time to play before bath and books at bedtime. 

what we do on weekends

Our winter weekends have been quite busy this year, and they both do swimming lessons and art school, soin between activities we allowNico and Oli to share our one and only tablet. There’s no wifi when we leave our door so we uploaded a bunch of Disney movies they both love, and Nico plays with drawing apps from time to time. When we eat out, if we run out of ideas and options, we pull out our phones and play some Netflix for them.  

How we face unexpected situations 

It’s been a while since Nico mastered how to play with our console and he recently visited some friends and family who started playing online with their consoles (and I just discovered there’s a huge Fortnite fever, I had no clue about it) and yes, we are not there yet, just not yet. Three rules are super simple when it comes to playing: He can do it for one hour, online gaming isn’t allowed and only games according to his age like lego and Minecraft creative are available.

Once, he asked what’s all about online gaming and we talked about the fact there’s a huge online world and different consoles out there connecting people we don’t know. We explained that he’s too little to experience this, in an open and sincere conversation.

For Nico and Oli to be able to respond when they witness cyberbullying, we have to help them become a good digital citizen. Those simple rules, easing them into using technology, and teaching them how to be how to be compassionate with others is essential!.

COMPASSION ONLINE AND IN THE REAL WORLD

As part of its effort to end bullying, TELUS partners with We Day. This year, thousands of youth heard about cyberbullying and its impact during We Day. For many of those youth, it was a start to an important conversation. And for the second year, I had the chance to experience a full day learning from others how we can make a difference, online and in the real world. The WE movement is dear to my heart. It encourages us to come together and create a better world, anywhere you are: at school, at home, at work, we can all bring a real positive change to our day-to-day.
This magical event is hosted across our country and for the seventh consecutive year, TELUS is proud to help inspire all these young leaders by supporting them as a co-title partner of WE day (high five, brilliant team!).
When we have a shared vision to help engage and empower youth to harness their innovative ideas, make positive changes and help them become strong community leaders, only good things grow both locally and globally. It makes the world a more colorful, happy place! And you know me and colors, right? This event is such an inspiration for the next generation and as a grown-up, you leave it with tons of ideas on how you can help youth in your life become more compassionate and engaged!

It’s possible to raise tech savvy kiddos that will be a force for good online and in the real world. We are thankful to be able to leverage tools like TELUS Wise and We families to help us find ways to talk to our kids about giving back and about online safety. One quick and easy thing you can do as a fam is take the TELUS Wise pledge. Sign the pledge online and tell the kiddos what you are doing. Then have them draw their own little pledge on how they will help others and be kind and stick it on the fridge as a reminder!

How do you deal with technology with your little ones?
Let’s start the conversation and educate them together!Endless thanks to TELUS, for sponsoring this post and hosting us during We day.All opinions and tips expressed here are entirely mine.

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