Quick Ways For Families To Compartmentalize Digital:

  1. Create a “media diet in your home but also a media policy in your home and then enforce it. Live by the same rules you ask your children to live by whenever possible. No devices at meals is a good and feasible first start…
  2. No devices at the breakfast, lunch, or family dinner table, no matter where you are (home, restaurant, friends). Just let 20 minutes be sacred. The field notes (in the above study) can serve as the rationale for why!
  3. Have media curfew in your home for kids, but also at times for yourself when you can make it work. Consider no email/phone use/device use from 5:30pm to 8:30pm. If that’s impossible, consider just a bedtime for devices that precedes human bedtime by an hour.
  4. Make hard and fast rules for yourself while driving to avoid texting and talking while at the wheel. Easy tip is to get in the habit of always putting your purse or bag in the back seat to avoid the urge to respond to the beep. We’re wired to respond so make it more impossible to grab the device.
  5. Recognize that there are differences in our level of distraction when using the phone. Writing emails, perusing Facebook, or even having a text-conversation while our children sit waiting is not only rude (I do feel guilty about this) but unfair and may cause us to act in ways that aren’t our ideal. If you want to engage with online content while with your children, consider co-viewing things and involving them in what captures your attention rather than escaping the moment in front of you.