Tech rules kids want their parents to have. And some of us aren’t going to like them.

What kind of tech rules do you have in your family?

No phones at the table? No screens in the bedroom?

Are you not yet at the point when you need rules? Are your kids still so little that you can quite easily just offer and withdraw the Ipad when you need to.

(Who wants to play the Peppa Pig game while I have a shower?)

But what about rules for you? Do they exist? Should they?

 

Stop taking photos of us mum. Image via IStock.

It might surprise you to know that our kids actually want rules for our tech use.

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Yes, our kids want technology rules for their parents.

If you asked my children I think the first tech rules they would enforce would be more access to my phone for them and less for me - oh and maybe an unlimited app store spending spree.

But maybe I am fooling myself because the facts of this study are pretty hard to stomach for those of us phone obsessed parents. This new study has delved deep into the dark depths of mum-guilt by showing the overwhelming desire for kids when it comes to their parents tech use is for their parents to put the devices down more.

Ouch.

It's ironic isn't it? Study after study has shown that the number one fear for parents of primary school aged children is too much screen time. We worry about the impact of our kids being immersed in the digital world, we worry about it being too often, too much, we worry that they aren't present for real life.

And at the very same time they are worrying about the very same thing for us.

Study after study has shown that the number one fear for parents of primary school aged children is too much screen time. Image via IStock.

The research from the University of Washington and University of Michigan looked at parent and child pairs and asked them about the technology rules in their home.

"Managing kids' technology use was once much easier for parents. They switched off the television when a show was over or kept an eye on kids as they used the family computer in the living room," lead author Alexis Hiniker, a doctoral candidate in human centered design and engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle, said in a statement.

"But now that so many family members have phones with them at all times, it’s become harder and harder to set those boundaries."

The children gave about 326 specific rules for their parents, according to the researchers 92% of them fell into seven major themes.

1. Be present.

Look up at us, put the phone away, stop checking Facebook. Sure it may be important but don't forget we are too.

2. Don't be a sharant.

Don't overshare. Get those pis of us off Facebook, stop commenting on my Instagram posts, don't tell the world about the age you toilet trained me or how I did in my soccer final. Keep me off social media.

"Twice as many children as parents expressed concerns about family members oversharing personal information about them on Facebook and other social media without permission," study co-author Sarita Schoenebeck, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Information said.

"Many children said they found that content embarrassing and felt frustrated when their parents continued to do it."

3. Digital autonomy.

The kids want space - and trust- when they use their devices.

The kids want space - and trust- when they use their devices. Image via IStock.

4. Digital moderation.

They want us to learn to balance technology and your everyday life.

5. Provide supervision for me.

Our kids still need us to protect them and to offer them protection.

6. Don’t use your phones and drive.

Wise words from our little ones.

7. Don’t be a hypocrite.

If you say no phones at dinner make it universal. If you say no posting family photos on Facebook, don't do it yourself.

Be present. Image via IStock.

The study though went further it then asked parents what rules they wanted for their children, there were oh, roughly 412!

But to narrow it down they fell into 10 major themes and some of the similarities are startling.

1. Be present.

2. Make sure you are supervised.

3. Don’t share personal identification information online.

4. Moderation - balance usage with your other activities.

5. No Oversharing.

6. Model appropriate use to other family members.

7. Set limits for your phone use.

8. Don't use your phone when driving (for teenagers).

9. Be kind.

10. Don’t share or view sexually explicit photos or videos.

Do you have tech rules in your home?

 

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