One of the biggest issues I help with in mediation is co-parenting and helping couples successfully navigate how to work together while being apart. It can be tricky, but it’s absolutely essential to maintaining a relationship with your children and ensuring their well being.
This is a topic that we’ve discussed several times on the blog and it can’t be stressed enough. There are so many nuisances with parenting and children that your co-parenting strategy could need constant tweaking to meet your current needs.
Never is this more true than in today’s society with an ever-growing online landscape. Screen time, social media, and technology in general are all important topics to discuss with your ex to ensure you’re both on the same page and sending your children the same message when it comes to your expectations with their use of technology.
Here’s a few ways to get started with this conversation:
Consider how much access your children will have to technology
Will you provide your kids with tools such as a cell phone, computer, or gaming devices? If not, consider where they will have access to these items and discuss boundaries. If you decide to provide your children with access, do so as a team and stay on the same page with enforcing your rules.
Discuss limits on screen time
Research has shown the negative effects of digital devices on children, yet it’s unreasonable to expect your kids to avoid them all of the time. Educate yourself on the best ways to allow your kids access to these devices, while maintaining their best interests. This article is helpful for those of you with toddlers. Determine an approach that works and then stick to it.
Determine social media boundaries
When it comes to Facebook and other social media outlets, your children might be too young to have their own profiles, but they may still have a big presence online through what you post. There's a lot to consider when determining how much to share of your kids' life online. This article gives some great ideas about what to consider when sharing your kids online through your own profile. Ensure both parents are comfortable with what's being shared and the safety of your children remains a priority.
Show proper behavior
Be a good role model for your children when it comes to digital use. Don’t forget that your children are always looking to you for clues on how to behave. Limit your own use of electronic devices when around your kids and be mindful of what you post online. It’s important not to forget that your own behavior is a strong influence on your children.
When both parents take the same approach, it’s much easier to maintain consistency with your children. Make sure you don’t forget to discuss these topics so both parents are enforcing the same rules around digital media and technology.