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THE FAMILY ZONE BLOG

Back to School routines to keep everyone smiling

Written by Family Zone Team on 03-Feb-2017 10:27:33
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now The kids are back at school, here are some handy hints on settling them into a screen routine 

In her latest blog, our Education Manager and mother of two Jess shares her experiences on screen routines. If you'd like to keep up to date on cyber safety advice and app reviews, subscribe to our free monthly newsletter using the link (above right on desktop, below article on mobile). 

During the school holidays, my kids seemed to be staying up later and later, and with this came more screen time before bed. But now our little treasures have gone back to school it is time to ensure they are getting back into their good habits and routines.  This includes getting all their homework done, in bed on time and getting enough quality sleep.

It's commonly known that kids thrive on boundaries and routines, which absolutely applies to screen time too!

When I first started at Family Zone I had a conversation with Matilda, my 7yo, about what we both thought had to be done before bed and how long we thought she should have “iPad time”.  Even at 7yo, kids generally know what is fair and what is expected of them. So together we wrote out her evening timetable.  Complete with her own illustrations!

It was important for her to be involved in the process as she would be more likely to follow her own rules.  

It has given my daughter some control and power in the situation, which we know kids love and need, and of course it has given her the structure and “rules” she thrives under.

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Every household will be different and will have different needs and expectations, but for us I just wanted to ensure her reading/homework was getting done, there was a decent break from screen time before bed and that she was in bed on time. (The science behind having a break from screens in the last hour before bed is well known these days, mainly as the blue light they emit suppresses the circadian rhythm, which impacts sleep patterns). Beyond that, I let her negotiate the rest.  Never will you see a child brush their teeth and get their PJs on quicker than when they are wasting their iPad time!!

For teenagers I’ve often heard the phrase "Digital Contract" or "Agreement" used and by all accounts I believe they are very successful. Again, the driving principles are the same - you both agree on the rules and expectations around their use, including consequences for breaking the agreement.

Family Zone encourages these family chats and negotiations around what will be included in the agreements and what they will look like. Going one step further, the Family Zone App can also assist by allowing you to schedule screen time and which apps/sites each of your children can access during their study, school, play and sleep routines. This is one of the most popular features of Family Zone, our short video below explains how it all works within our cloud based dashboard.

You can also check out our YouTube channel where we have a range of video resources on cyber safety topics.

 
 
By Jessica, Family Zone

Jess is a mum of two and recently came on board at Family Zone after she worked as an Intelligence Analyst for the WA Police for 9 years. During that time she was placed in the cyber area of the Sex Crime Division where she dealt with families and victims of cybercrime, and her passion for cyber safety developed.  “I couldn't believe the enormity of cases in sexting, grooming and paedophilia that I dealt with on a daily basis. One of the common themes I saw was parents overwhelmed & not knowing what to do.  I really wanted to get involved in a prevention role where I could help families protect their children.  Family Zone is this and more!!” Cyber Safety Sorted!

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Topics: Parental Controls, Cybersafety, Cyber Experts, family, parenting, routines