We live in a society that is ruled by iPads, iPhones, tablets and computers. Our children have no idea what it is like not to have constant access to the world wide web. Gone are the days where we needed libraries for research and books, now we just type everything in a search bar and wait. Companies are constantly developing devices to put in our kids hands but not very many are focused on keeping our kids safe and encouraging them to disconnect. The last time we had an internet free day, I thought the kids were going to go into shock. Here are some simple ways that we are avoiding the overload this summer.
1. Verizon Fios: Customers with the Quantum Gateway can use the enhanced parental settings to control how their children access the web and related content with various features: manage children’s Internet usage on each device; establish controls from the MyFiOS App; turn Internet access on or off on any device; and set time limits on any device on a daily or weekly basis.
2. Mini Routers: Have you heard about Koala Safe or Circle with Disney? Both fit in the palm of your hand and allow you to control any device that is set on the network using your mobile phone. The Circle is currently only available on iTunes but is set to be released for Android soon. The devices serve as a gateway between your network and the device. They inspect every piece of information that attempts to gain access to the device.
3. Set a schedule: Involve the kids in this plan and let them know why it is important that they not waste their summer playing on the internet. This should also help them use their time effectively and avoid procrastination.
4. DIY: We will be creating some DIY projects. I find that working with their hands keeps them from thinking about minecraft. There are lots of inexpensive ideas that can be found around the house.
5. Rewards: Internet usage will be a part of our chore rewards. They can earn extra time by completing certain task. I’ve already begun working on the list.
6. Money: I’ll be using this time as a great way to teach them some financial responsibility. The money they earn from chores can be used to buy internet use credits. My daughter hates spending her own money so this will work tremendously with her.
7. Turn It Off For Dinner: Make the dinner table a no-internet zone. I have to admit that this one is hard and I am extremely guilty of breaking the rules. Our days are so busy that we rarely get time to enjoy our shows together, so sometimes I allow dinner and a movie. I love how Chick-fil- A realizes that this is a bad trend and has issued a “family challenge” The restaurant places a small, square box, on each table, with a simple challenge: enjoy a meal without the distraction of cell phones and receive a free Chick-fil-A Icedream. Guests complete the challenge successfully only if cellphones remain untouched for their entire meal.
What ways have you thought of to avoid the overload? Share your tips below for a chance to win a mini router. Contest ends May 22, 2016
DISCLOSURE: THIS POST WAS SPONSORED AS PART OF A CAMPAIGN. All opinions belong to the Neighborhood.