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Technology Addiction and the Coming Zombie Apocalypse

Technology Addiction and the Coming Zombie Apocalypse
Every once in a while, I'll run across a parent that says "My child is struggling with a gaming addiction" or other tech-related addiction. Often, these parents will say, "She's very bright, but cannot apply herself because of this issue" or "his beh...
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My Biggest Regret with My Teen Student

My Biggest Regret with My Teen Student
My Coffee Break Books are small, helpful, inexpensive, and (sometimes) free. Click to get notified when they are free to download: Free Kindle Book Notification Service Do you have any biggest regrets from parenting your teen student? This letter fro...
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TechnoLogic Review by Jonathan Lewis of Home School Enrichment Magazine

TechnoLogic Review by Jonathan Lewis of Home School Enrichment Magazine

TechnoLogic Review by Jonathan Lewis of Home School Enrichment Magazine

This post contains affiliate links. If you click and buy I may make a few pennies, but not enough for a latte.
Home School Enrichment Magazine is one magazine I've always loved, and I was so pleased they decided to write a review of my book on setting technology boundaries with your children. Check it out!

TechnoLogic Review by Jonathan Lewis
Home School Enrichment Magazine

I’m a Millennial. Okay, just barely—but I still qualify. I grew up around technology and got an early start with computers. I may not be a natural tech geek, but I do handle technology competently and have done so for years.

And from that experience, I know how easy it is to let technology get the better of me if I allow it to do so. Whether it’s checking my phone too often or wasting time online, it’s easy to let my technology own me instead of the other way around.

That’s why I’m glad Lee Binz has written the book TechnoLogic: How to Set Logical Technology Boundaries and Stop the Zombie Apocalypse. The zombies she’s referring to are the mind-numbed hordes who are so preoccupied with their gadgets they’re not living real life.

The problem of technology overuse and addiction is serious, as is the torrent of inappropriate material available at the click of a button (or, as Lee points out, accidentally available to a child engaging in a seemingly innocent Internet search). The problems are real, and today’s parents need to be both aware of the problems and equipped to deal with them constructively. Completely unplugging might be tempting at times, but that’s probably not the best option for most of us, since our children do need to know how to use technology. But we also don’t need to let our technology rule—and ruin—our lives.

Somewhere between the extremes is a middle ground we need to find. And that’s what Lee wants to help you accomplish with TechnoLogic.

Lee’s book is divided into four main sections: Understand the Problem, Face the Problem, Prevent the Problem, and Deal with the Problem. While the book does take a somber view of tech overuse, I appreciate that it’s not an anti-technology rant.

The early chapters focus on the problem, while the later chapters focus more on solutions. In discussing the problems, I appreciate the fact that Lee takes the discussion beyond just the dangers of porn and violent video games and delves into the science of what technology overuse can do to our children’s brains. (But don’t worry—she doesn’t get too heavy.) In other words, it’s not just a content problem, though Lee discusses that aspect as well; it’s a use problem. If our children are using technology too much—even for perfectly wholesome activities—they’re going to suffer for it.

You’ll find plenty of practical pointers and ideas for handling technology constructively. You’ll discover, for example, “Ten Ways to Create Wholesome Technology Boundaries” (chapter 7), “Nine Real Family Examples of Setting Successful Technology Boundaries” (chapter 8), and “Seven Steps for Safe and Sane Internet Use” (chapter 9).

Don’t read this book if you are unwilling to feel a little uncomfortable about your family’s technology habits. But if you’re concerned about how to help your children successfully navigate the technological world we live in, I recommend you get a copy and read it. If you’re not concerned, then I highly recommend you get a copy and read it. Why? Because if you’re not concerned, it probably means you’re not paying attention—and you need to be. Too many parents are fundamentally uninformed about the multifaceted dangers posed by technology overuse.

I think many moms and dads hear warnings about technology and think the concern is just about porn and violent video games. Filter those out and we’re fine, the thinking goes. But those things aren’t the only concern, as Lee makes abundantly clear. Technology abuse and addiction are real things. If you don’t believe me, hopefully you will by the time you finish reading TechnoLogic. The real-life story Lee includes in chapter 11 is an eye-opener.

So pick up a copy of TechnoLogic. Read it. Consider it. Then prayerfully decide what to do with your newfound knowledge. The stakes are high. For the sake of our children, we need to be informed.

The fall edition of Home School Enrichment is available now. I love this magazine! It's a wonderful resource for homeschool families - and I really enjoy reading it myself! Now is a great time to give it a try. Take advantage of the “Back to Home School” sale going on right now and get a subscription for just $14.97—that’s more than 30% off the regular price! Sweet!

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Top 10 Threats from Playing Pokemon GO

Top 10 Threats from Playing Pokemon GO

This is a 5 Alarm Alert for all parents who have children with smartphones. The latest craze to hit the culture is an augmented reality app called Pokemon GO. Released on July 6, this app is now the number one download in the Apple store and has been installed on 5.16% of all Android devices in the U.S. It may soon even outperform Twitter, according to Forbes. Chances are, if your kids have a smartphone, it is already downloaded and they are already playing it. [Read More: Forbes]

For the uninitiated (those who have been focused on the real news tragedies since July 6), here is a summary: Pokemon GO turns your ordinary mobile phone into a window on a fictional world. As you walk through the world, Pokemon GO uses your phone's GPS and alerts you when you're close to a creature. When you turn on the camera, the pokemon appears overlaid on whatever your phone sees. [See an example here:]

By turning on their camera, creatures pop up on their screens, appearing in patches of grass, hospital rooms, table counters, bathtubs, trees, and even the kitchen sink, all depending on where they are located. Players walk and travel around their area, pausing at buildings or monuments to find virtual characters that appear on their smart phone camera. They are fighting for the title of "The Very Best That No One Ever Was."

So, in a nutshell, the next generation of digital zombies you will soon start noticing will be laser focused on catching the Pokemon monster standing next to you. Do not be alarmed. They are probably harmless, unless you get in their way. Because even though the app is merely a week old, social media is filled with stories of injuries and accidents from people bumping into, falling over, or basically tripping their way through the game. Beyond bumps and bruises, there are other, more serious reasons to pause before starting this game.

Here are 10 threats for you to consider and discuss with your children

Before allowing them to be unwittingly exposed to the dark side of this popular game, you need to quickly educate yourself on this fad. Quickly, because it's growing so fast it will make your head spin.

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Have You Read TechnoLogic?

Have You Read TechnoLogic?

Have You Read TechnoLogic?

Have you been able to find the technology balance you need in your home and homeschool?

Have you read my newest book, TechnoLogic? Is it helping you tame the media beast? Please spend 2 minutes to write a review and let me know what you think!

TechnoLogic: How to Set Logical Technology Boundaries and Stop the Zombie Apocalypse is available on paperback and Kindle.

You know why I created this book, right? Because I wanted to offer hope for parents battling an issue they see but may not truly understand. I hope to equip you to face the sometimes hard reality of what technology is doing to our culture and our families.

Please leave a review! It's easy. Here's how:

Thank you so much for your help!




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25 Reasons to be Careful with Teens and Technology

25 Reasons to be Careful with Teens and Technology

25 Reasons to be Careful with Teens and Technology

1. Watch this video: reSTART Life | Not your device

2. State Senator Wants Utah to Declare Pornography a Public Health Crisis

3. Why the iPad is a far bigger threat to our children than anyone realises: Ten years ago, psychologist Sue Palmer predicted the toxic effects of social media. Now she sees a worrying new danger ...

4. Mom's Facebook Post Begs Parents to Put Down Their Phones

5. Danger of Blue Light Exposure for Children

6. Internet Terms and Acronyms Parents MUST Know

7. Teen Driver was Texting, Snapchatting, and on Facebook Prior to Rollover Crash

8. Kik App Investigated After Teen's Death: What Every Parent Should Know

9. 9 Social Media Red Flags Parents Should Know About

10. We are setting a bad example: Parents are the Ones Who Need Limits on Screen Time

11. Watch this video: 3 Easy Ways Parents Can Tame Their Device Use

12. Video Selfie Caused Fatal Thurston County Crash

13. Parents Struggle to Limit Children's Screen Time

14. Too Much Screen Time Damages the Brain

15. If Children Lose Contact with Nature, they Won't Fight for it

16. Kids are spending too much time on the internet, help them discover The Outernet.

17. Your Paper Brain and Your Kindle Brain Aren't the Same Thing

18. Watch this Video: Put Your Phone Down For One Hour

19. We're Failing to Teach Kids Household Skills. If Your Child Can Use a Smartphone ...

20. The Social Media Conversation to Have with Your Kids.

21. Electronic Baby Toys Associated with Decrease in Quality and Quantity of Language in Infants

22. Can't Get Your Child off the Internet?

23. The Life You See Here on Social Media is Not Reality. It's Everyone's Highlight Reel.

24. Selfies Kill More People than Sharks.

25. Unhook Your Children from Technology.

Get the solutions to troublesome technology! Avoid the zombie apocalypse with this new resource, "TechnoLogic: How to Set Logical Technology Boundaries and Stop the Zombie Apocalypse" By Lee Binz and a Team of Experts.

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It's Finally Here! 6 Reasons You Need TechnoLogic

It's Finally Here! 6 Reasons You Need TechnoLogic

It's Finally Here!

It's here, it's finally here! The book I've been talking to you about for months is finally here!

You know why I wrote this book? Because I see a problem! And homeschoolers are not immune.

Let me explain.

6 Reasons You Need TechnoLogic

1. Most boys search for internet porn by age 10.
2. Doctors say not to allow handheld devices until 13.
3. Social media causes anxiety, depression, loneliness, and jealousy.
4. Excess technology is related to obesity and depression.
5. Gaming 4-5 hours a day can decrease brain size!!! What??
6. Porn exposure right now: 85% of teen boys and 50% of teen girls.

Homeschoolers use technology for school and for fun all day long. We need to find a balance, or we are going to end up with a generation of zombies, trudging along without feeling or seeing, barely looking up from their devices. We can do better and prevent the apocalypse!

Misuse of technology is a real danger that can lead to a zombie apocalypse in your home. TechnoLogic: How to Set Logical Technology Boundaries and Stop the Zombie Apocalypse is an eye-opening book that offers hope for parents battling the technology monster. Learn how to deal with technology in your home and how to set technology boundaries for healthy and happy children and teens.

Check out what people have to say about my new book:
"Lee Binz has hit the nail smack on the head for clearly identifying the impact technology is having on our children, families, and schools, and what to do about it. TechnoLogic demystifies a very complex issue, helping readers to sort out problem areas and identify solutions. TechnoLogic is for everyone who cares about creating better lives for children." ~Cris Rowan, Occupational Therapist and Author of Virtual Child

"Lee Binz deftly guides parents about the dangers that accompany gaming and internet addiction in this valuable book. Follow her advice, end the power struggles with your children and teens over their technology use, and be well on your way to rebuilding harmony in your family life." ~ Kim McDaniel, M.A. Family Therapist, Author, and Parent Coach

Click here to take a peek inside and to order your very own copy. Available in both print and Kindle ebook.

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Team of Experts to Help You Handle Technology Boundaries

Team of Experts to Help You Handle Technology Boundaries

This post contains affiliate links. If you click and buy I may make a few pennies, but not enough for a latte.

Team of Experts to Help You Handle Technology Boundaries

It's a new world, with changes we could not have imagined years ago. Parenting has always been challenging, but these days the hardest parts of parenting involve electronic gadgets or technology. Whether dealing with smart phones, tablets, computers, social media, or video games, parents need help figuring out how to manage this new environment.

But how, exactly?

Imagine sitting down with a team of experts and having a heart-felt and encouraging conversation with educators and counselors, along with real parents, as they guide you to create a healthier home for your child, even in the midst of this technology-steeped generation. That's what you'll find in my new book, TechnoLogic: How to Set Logical Technology Boundaries and Stop the Zombie Apocalypse, designed to help you set logical technology boundaries in your home. TechnoLogic includes contributors from many disciplines and walks of life.

Check out who you get to sit down with, in our book-based conversation:

Todd Wilson

Todd Wilson of Familyman Ministries is the author of Taming the Techno-Beast, Helping You Understand and Navigate Your Child’s Electronic World book and workbook set.

Todd is a dad, writer, conference speaker, and former pastor. His humor is well known and his down-to-earth “realness” has made him a favorite speaker at homeschool conventions across the country. You may also have heard him speak on Focus on the Family. As founder of Familyman Ministries, his passion and mission are to remind dads and moms of what’s most important through weekly emails, seminars, and books.

Todd and his wife, Debbie, homeschool six of their eight children. Two of them have already graduated. They live in Northern Indiana and travel across America in The Familyman Mobile. Learn more at The Familyman website. Todd knows what he is talking about and has vast experience talking with parents about technology and many other issues. You can completely trust his knowledge, judgment, and experience as he consults with families around the world.

Kim McDaniel

Kim McDaniel is the co-author (along with Hilarie Cash) of Video Games & Your Kids: How Parents Stay in Control.

Kim has provided a lot of guidance and encouragement for TechnoLogic. A devoted parent, wife, and a professional counselor, she has provided clinical services to families, children, and adolescents for 20 years in a variety of settings, including residential programs, hospitals, and in her own private practice. She’s a strong advocate of parents taking control of the role digital media plays in their children’s lives. Contact Kim directly at Kim also recommends the reSTART Center for Digital Sustainability website for more information and support.

Cris Rowan

Cris Rowan is the author of Virtual Child: The Terrifying Truth About What Technology is Doing to Children. You can find her book, programs, and informational newsletter at

Cris is a well-known author and speaker to teachers, parents, and therapists throughout North America and in China in the field of sensory integration, learning attention, fine motor skills, and the impact of technology on children’s neurological development. Cris has a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy and Biology, and is an SIPT-certified pediatric sensory specialist. Cris serves on the committee for the Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, and is the CEO of Zone’in Programs Inc., offering products, workshops, training, and consultations to help promote technology boundaries and enhance productivity. Cris is the creator of the Zone’in, Move’in, Unplug’in, and Live’in educational programs for school and home. Her Foundation Series Workshops help educate parents, teachers, and therapists about how technology affects child development and her Zone’in Training Programs help train other pediatric occupational therapists.

Real Parents and Families Around the World

Real parents have shared their family stories in TechnoLogic. Some stories are painful but they are always honest and revealing. Your comments and questions gathered from my work as The HomeScholar have provided much of the inspiration for this book.

Scattered throughout the book you will also find encouraging tidbits and tiny quotes that I call Lee's Lessons - helping you feel like I'm coming along side you to help with creating technology boundaries.

I'm very excited about the launch of my new book, coming out this week on Amazon! To look inside and pick up your own copy, click here!

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Technology Use Guidelines and Minecraft

Technology Use Guidelines and Minecraft

Technology Use Guidelines and Minecraft

The “Technology Use Guidelines for Children and Youth” were developed by a panel of experts, with contribution from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Pediatric Society. The guidelines recommend that teenagers 13 to 18 should engage in no more than two hours of technology per day. They do not make an exception for really, REALLY fun games or even educational games.


Even educational games can be strangely addictive. One of the most popular games right now is Minecraft. This seemingly harmless game gets a lot of positive attention due to its ability to promote creativity and imagination, but there is a darker side to it. Many parents whose children are deeply involved in Minecraft report that its addictive properties are unlike anything they have ever experienced.

You will discover many such stories through a quick internet search on “Minecraft Addiction.” Amazing, isn’t it? Page after page of articles and columns with titles such as, “Help, My Child is Addicted to Minecraft” and “How do I get my son to reduce his addiction to Minecraft?” Parents, tread carefully here. Even seemingly wholesome games can be detrimental to your children’s development.

Minecraft is an extremely popular game. Parents are being pushed hard by their children to allow early usage of it. There are violent components to it and there are wonderful components, what Andy Doan, a colleague of Cris Rowan's terms “digital broccoli” and “digital candy.” You have the positive part of Minecraft, the construction, the building … it’s an amazing game and it could be pro-social.

Sit down and play the game with your children, and see if you can work out some management tools, steering them toward the more pro-social aspects of the game. Ask yourself, “Is my child social? Do they have friends? Do they go outside and play? Do they get along with their siblings? Do they sit down and eat dinner, and have a social conversation with the rest of the family? Is their development okay? Is their academic performance okay?”

If for all of these questions, you’re thinking, “check, check, check,” then your child might be one who benefits from some aspects of Minecraft. If the reverse is the case, and your child is becoming asocial or antisocial (they don’t want to go out anymore, they don’t have any friends, they’re grumpy all the time, angry, they’re not wanting to come to the dinner table and socialize with the rest of the family, all they want to do is play video games) then you have a problem brewing.

The Technology Use Guidelines include even the hours spent on Minecraft - even the hours for school. You want your children to have a technology balance, so they can experience a full childhood and full education as well as have fun with things they love.

Does your child love Minecraft or other games? Have you struggled to create a technology balance in your homeschool? Check out my upcoming book to help you set logical technology boundaries in your home! This post is a brief excerpt from TechnoLogic: How to Set Logical Technology Boundaries and Stop the Zombie Apocalypse. Available in both Kindle ebook and print.

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Prevent the Zombie Apocalypse in Your Home! How to Create Safe and Sane Technology Boundaries!

Prevent the Zombie Apocalypse in Your Home! How to Create Safe and Sane Technology Boundaries!

Are you scared at the thought of what’s lurking online? Is your child becoming a zombie in front of any screen? During this spooky time, prevent the Zombie Apocalypse in your home by setting critical technology boundaries!
TechnoLogic: Critical Technology Boundaries for Children and Teens Webinar Series

It’s a new world! Parenting has always been challenging, but these days the hardest parts of parenting involve electronic gadgets or technology. Do you need help figuring out how to survive the zombie apocalypse? Check out my three-part webinar series to learn how to set technology boundaries for healthy and happy teens.

Part 1: Learn the causes of the zombie apocalypse.
Enjoy special guest Todd Wilson of Familyman Ministries, author of Taming the Techno-Beast. Learn reasons for setting technology boundaries and ways to create wholesome technology boundaries.
"These are topics that unfortunately are much needed topics in today's world. It takes courage to address these issues. Thank you for the balance of honesty and sensitivity with which you addressed them. Thank you for taking on these topics and doing such a great job with them!" ~Cyndie

Part 2: Learn about technology in education.
Enjoy hearing guest speaker Cris Rowan, founder of Zone'In Inc., Pediatric Occupational Therapist, Child Development Expert, and author of "Virtual Child: The Terrifying Truth About What Technology is Doing to Children." You will learn all about concerns with incorporating technology in education, balanced technology management, how to successfully unplug. PLUS get great printable handouts to help set boundaries with your kids.
"Your candidness ministered to me as a mom and teacher of my children." ~Connie

"Thank you for addressing something that is so clearly a problem but quite ignored since parents are sometimes more guilty than the child.” ~Katherine

Part 3: Learn the darker side of technology addiction and how to treat it.
Explore long-term consequences of excessive technology use and symptoms of serious technology abuse. Get self-help tips to break addiction along with real family examples of setting successful technology boundaries.
"I say Amen to all of this. I've have had to experience all of the negatives here, because I was too naive for my own good. There's good in being naive, and then there is stupidity, especially when it comes to protecting your children from porn. Please do heed the warnings here. If I had only known, I would have been more responsible about parenting in this area. I do trust the Lord's plan from eternity past, but I also am very sad for my son who was exposed to this for years. Thank you Lee. You've been a great source of comfort to me. ~Renee

My TechnoLogic resources for creating technology boundaries are FREE for all parents.  Please share this information with your friends! 
Watch the webinar online, or download the MP3 and listen anywhere!  Get all the amazing handouts and resources and worksheets for this webinar absolutely FREE! Training Series on Setting Technology Boundaries

What challenges are you having with technology in your home or homeschool? If you have viewed the webinar series, what did you think? Please share!

P.S. I want to share this webinar series with as many parents as possible! You see this cute little button, below? Please use it and the image above to SHARE with your friends on social media!

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Prevent the Zombie Apocalypse!

Prevent the Zombie Apocalypse!
Prevent the Zombie Apocalypse! Set Technology Boundaries for Teens! Parenting is hard. The world is constantly changing, and the problems never stay still, so they can be hard to solve. These days, it seems like the hardest part of parenting always seems to involve one piece of technology or another. Whether it's for the smart phone, tablet, computer, or video game console, parents often need help figuring out how to manage technology boundaries. My main message to you is DO IT. Set those boundaries for healthy and happy children and teens. Like brushing their teeth and eating their vegetables, they need to know why healthy habits are important. Check out my book, TechnoLogic: How to Set Technology Boundaries and Stop the Zombie Apocalypse, to learn why and get a step-by-step how-to on setting those boundaries. All the great information from my article is available in a handy infographic. Feel free to share this infographic with your friends! Only YOU can prevent the Zombie Apocalypse!

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12 Symptoms of Serious Technology Abuse

12 Symptoms of Serious Technology Abuse
12 Symptoms of Serious Technology Abuse

Are you concerned about how much time your teen is spending with digital media? Has their behavior changed? How do you know if technology abuse is a problem in your household?

In TechnoLogic: How to Set Logical Technology Boundaries and Stop the Zombie Apocalypse, I share 12 symptoms of serious technology abuse developed by digital addiction specialists to help you determine if there is a problem.  Check this list: Signs & Symptoms of Internet Addiction

Read through that list of serious and concerning symptoms of technology abuse, and make sure they aren't pointing to serious issues with your own child.

  1. Increasing amounts of time spent on computer and internet activities

  2. Failed attempts to control behavior

  3. Heightened sense of euphoria while involved in computer and internet activities

  4. Craving more time on the computer and internet

  5. Neglecting friends and family

  6. Feeling restless when not engaged in the activity

  7. Being dishonest with others

  8. Computer use interfering with job/school performance

  9. Feeling guilty, ashamed, anxious, or depressed as a result of behavior

  10. Changes in sleep patterns

  11. Physical changes such as weight gain or loss, backaches, headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome

  12. Withdrawing from other pleasurable activities

Technology is such a blessing, and can bring people together in wonderful ways. But technology can also be a curse - used by evil people, or affecting individuals prone to addiction. This is a new world, with new world problems. Wise parents educate themselves so they are aware of issues and can steer children clear of unnecessary bumps in the road to adulthood.

If you have a tech-loving teenager, read more about computer geeks in this article: Consulting with Computer Geeks. Then read the list of serious and concerning symptoms of technology abuse, and make sure they aren't pointing to serious issues with your child.

What boundaries do YOU have for technology use in your home?

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11 Long-term Consequences of Excessive Technology Use

11 Long-term Consequences of Excessive Technology Use
In addition to short term issues, there are so many long-term consequences of excessive technology use. This is why it's important to set technology boundaries with young children, and to continue explaining, discussing, and modifying technology boundaries in your home with older children.

Eventually young adults need to be able to set technology boundaries for themselves, when they become adults, so explaining the consequences of excess use is important. Read all about the long-term consequences of excessive technology use along with why and how to set boundaries in my book, TechnoLogic: How to Set Logical Boundaries and Stop the Zombie Apocalypse. 

Sooo....have you had that discussion with your teenagers? How did it go?

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9 Real Family Examples of Setting Successful Technology Boundaries

9 Real Family Examples of Setting Successful Technology Boundaries
9 Real Family Examples of Setting Successful Technology Boundaries

Recently on The HomeScholar Facebook page, parents shared the successful technology boundaries they use in their own homes. If you would like some ideas for setting boundaries in your home, you can read these tried and true tips in my book, TechnoLogic: How to Set Logical Boundaries and Stop the Zombie Apocalypse.

Will you please share YOUR family rules, to encourage others?

Yours might be the perfect idea that will help other families set appropriate technology boundaries with their children!  Feel free to read my book and then share your thoughts!

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10 Great Ways to Create Wholesome Technology Boundaries

10 Great Ways to Create Wholesome Technology Boundaries

10 Great Ways to Create Wholesome Technology Boundaries

How do you determine appropriate technology boundaries that work for you and your family? You have 10 ways to create boundaries that will work at any age. It's very important to find technology boundaries with children of all ages, so they can have a healthy, happy childhood and grow into healthy, happy young adults!

Control the Location

Start with the easiest way to control technology – location. Many of the major problems created by technology can be solved by simply controlling the location of all digital devices. No computers or cell phones in the bedroom or bathroom, or at the dining table. Keep technology in public areas where you can easily supervise use. Keep all screens facing public areas of your home, to monitor appropriate online interaction.

Control Time

Set a clear time limit and set a timer to monitor it. Consider limiting digital device usage to one or two hours per day, unless being used for a homeschool project. Set clear expectations of no internet use after bedtime.

Control Content

You can invest in Covenant Eyes (5) Filtering System or McAfee Safe Eyes (6) to establish parental control of the content accessed on the computer. Regularly check the download history and browsing history of all devices. Monitor social media, and for younger teens, parents should possess all passwords to their accounts.

Control Safety

Make sure children do not give personal information about themselves online that could be used by strangers. Ensure children never send extremely personal photos of any kind, or of any person, or pass along photos others send to them online.

Exchange Activities

Exchange digital devices for non-tech fun. Replace screen time with reading, projects, or family games. Consider having one or more “unplugged” nights each week so children understand what it’s like to have fun without the internet. Make sure the evening is FUN - with games, activities, and social time without electronic devices.

Model Behavior

Parents can demonstrate self-control regarding technology. Show children that there are times for appropriate use of technology, but other times when it’s important to be free of digital media.

Family Meeting

Spend time as a family discussing technology. Teach personal safety regarding cyber-bullying, pornography, sexting, and other issues as you see them in the news. Explain that your job as a parent is to check phones, social media accounts, and computer internet surfing history to ensure the safety of the entire family.

Teach Discernment

Explain what is appropriate in the context of each device. Reinforce family rules. No inappropriate language or posting anything mean about anyone. No harassing or texting insulting comments about others, even when teens think the comments are private. Explain that the internet is forever, and even when something is “deleted” it is really just hidden and can still be easily discovered. Discuss digital addiction, personal safety, and future consequences of online behavior.

Establish Expectations

Set clear boundaries on technology use, and then provide clear cause-and-effect consequences for violating family rules. Breaking rules demonstrates that teens are not able to moderate their own behavior, and you will need to do that for them by removing the device causing difficulty. Consistently following rules means teens are able to control their own behavior and can handle additional trust.

Create Balance

Create a balanced educational plan. Teach technological skills, keyboarding and coding, providing 21st Century skills. At the same time, balance online education with non-digital, non-electronic coursework. Go technology-free and low-tech for coursework when possible. Seek a balance between fun involving technology and recreation that does not involve technology of any kind.

For more information on setting technology boundaries with your teen, check out my book, TechnoLogic: How to Set Technology Boundaries and Stop the Zombie Apocalypse.


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