26th April, 2010 - Posted by Gerry @ Families4Life - 1 Comment
How We Manage The Family and The Internet
I have been married to Joanne, my wife, for 15 years on January 28 of this year 2010.
We always celebrate our anniversary with a 24 hour leave pass from the children. This year we had an overnight stay in a 5 star hotel in the Sydney CBD including a few different activities squeezed into the 24 hours. I can tell you more about these things some other time.
Although Jo and I talk plenty about all sorts of issues, the one constant that we kept coming back to is “the kids”. I know some people will say “Oh, how unromantic!”, but the reality is the family is not just me and Jo, it’s all of us. Like in our business at Lawn Green, if we are proactively attending to all the issues that come about with all the family members then life runs more smoothly for everyone.
Now, the interesting thing about our family is we have had all our children coinciding with this new age of Technology, the Information Super Highway and the Internet.
All of the wonderful new and innovative inventions emerging from the Internet like Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, and other now famous Household names have forced us (“the Parents”) to think through the ramifications of these inventions on us and indeed, on our children.
By analyzing the impact of the Internet, computers and the associated free flow of information on us we have come up with a 8 different tactics that have helped us to run a more effective and happy household:
- up until a responsible age (determined by the parents, in our case around 14-15, and we know some people who go older) the children share a common email address (usually the Mum or Dad’s email address) – this teaches the child to be responsible in the use of emailing, prevents bullying amongst peers (trust me we have heard some real nasty stories!)
- same with Facebook and chat rooms – the Rules of Engagement for our children being on Facebook include us being their Friend, daily time limits to Facebook
- keep the family computers or lap-tops in a public area of the home
- same with TVs
- no computers or TVs in bedrooms
- no chat rooms, actually there is a form of chat room technology in the Facebook “chat” device
- daily time limits for computer use
- the parents set a good example
Now I am not suggesting you have to do the same as it may not work for you and your family. If some of these things are unworkable can you let me know why (below in the Comments)?
Yours in Family,
Gerry Faehrmann, Expert Facilitator
PS. Another thing that I must admit is that our oldest child has been quite an amenable child. Consequently, we have found that she sets a good example for the other children to follow. In terms of rearing the others, it becomes an easier task. What do you think?