The libraries would like to wish all of you a happy holiday. If you would like to check out books for your children over the holiday, please check with each librarian for permission to take books over the holidays. It’s always a great time to catch up on your reading or encourage your kids to read for fun. With that in mind, we’d like to share with you a bit from Common Sense Media about using Devices over the break.
How Plugged-In Families Can Have a Device-Free(ish) Holiday by Caroline Knorr (Reprinted with permission of Common Sense Media)
The trick is to downsize — not demolish — your family’s reliance on technology over the holidays.
What’s topping your kids’ holiday wish lists this year? Chances are it has a screen, internet access and games. With a little planning — and kids’ assistance — you can balance your family’s tech activities with much-needed face time. Here’s how:
Be jolly — but firm. Let your kids know that you’ll be enforcing stricter time limits to create more quality family time. And tell them that the rules will apply to the grown-ups as well!
Make a list (and check it with your kids). Don’t go cold turkey. Schedule some daily tech time for yourself and your kids. Get their input on which devices they absolutely can’t live without, and allow some limited use.
Plan a device-free dinner. Put the phones and tablets in a basket and don’t check ‘em til the dishes are done.
Have a download derby. Browse the app store together. Look for games and activities that the whole family can enjoy.
Make setup fun, not frustrating. No matter how easy to use, there’s always some (often frustrating) setup time required for new devices. Truth be told, kids often figure out thorny tech glitches faster than parents, so involve your kids in the process. Use that time to discuss responsible use of the new device.
Try some tech togetherness. Unplugging for its own sake isn’t the point. Family time is. Plan a night of video games, movies, or maybe preselected Youtube videos you can all enjoy.
Combine on- and offline activities. Document your family memories and consider compiling them into journals, cards and scrapbooks. This is a perfect time to share your own holiday memories with your kids.
If no creatures are stirring … don’t check your email. Remember, your kids learn their media habits partly from you. Use quiet time to reflect on ways you can maximise the benefits of technology without letting it take over your family’s life.
Have an old-fashioned holiday. Generate fun on your own steam — no WiFi, data, or plugs.
Head of Libraries/Secondary Librarian