Technology and internet access used to be privileges. These days, electronics are the cornerstones of teenage socialization. Even middle school students want to play video games with their classmates online, join social media and get their own phone so that they can start texting.
One of the hardest things for parents to do when their children get older is to establish reasonable rules for the use of technology. Especially during and after a divorce, you and your co-parent might fight about how your children use technology. Here are a few helpful hints that can reduce the strain of incorporating digital entertainment in to your parenting plan.
If possible, keep the rules consistent between houses
Ideally, you and your ex can agree on specific rules regarding technology use by your kids. Limiting the amount of screen time, controlling what media they consume and applying a curfew for better rest at night are all potential rules you can include in your parenting plan.
You can even create different rules for different children based on experts’ guidelines for their ages. The most important factor will be consistency in the application of those rules between both houses.
Can you both help pay for the devices?
Another stumbling block for divorced parents with technology is the requirement that each parent provides a child with resources for their parenting time. It’s much easier for a child to have a tablet and laptop at each parent’s home than to carry them back and forth.
Negotiating an agreement to share the cost of those devices, phone or streaming services and other costs associated with them can reduce the strain that technology so often introduces to co-parenting situations.