I just wrote a post on the importance of face-to-face interaction for tweens. Here are a couple of ways to make sure you are striking a good balance between online and offline time:
- Make meal times screen free. This is a great time to start conversations about the day and connect with one another.
- Ask your kids to consider the emotional impact of their electronic communication - good or bad.
- Encourage your kids to work out conflict face-to-face. Start with siblings! Help coach them on the words they might use.
- Model good communication and don't duck the hard conversations. Texting is a great way to stay connected but if something is important make sure you follow up face-to-face.
- Don't relegate face-to-face time to"big talks" only. Ask your kids to put away their cell phones during the ten minute ride to school or practice. Chat about whatever is on your minds!
- Support your school's cell phone and technology policies.
- LISTEN to your child when he or she wants to talk to you. Put away your smart phone and close your laptop in order to connect.