SO FAR THIS MONTH, WE’VE COVERED A VARIETY OF TOPICS AROUND TECHNOLOGY AND WHAT IT’S DOING TO OUR FAMILIES AND OUR BUSINESSES, THE GOOD AND THE BAD.
So today, I want to outline a process that’s going to help you tame the “tech jungle” and make sure you are intentionally using it as a positive tool that it’s meant to be, and not slipping into habits that are going to make you wonder how you or your kids ended up there.
Today’s episode is about finding your path and your approach to a good relationship with technology within your family and your business.
Let’s raise them up right!
IN THIS EPISODE, WE COVER:
[1:55] How to Strike a Balance
How do you find rhythms for your family when it comes to technology?
The spectrum is very broad: from families where there’s no technology whatsoever to families where there are no boundaries and technology has completely taken over. I firmly believe that the lack of awareness is what’s leading to the perpetuation of this stuff, and ultimately affecting our kids. So, the key is being aware, which is why we’re bringing you a lot of tools and talking about this. Especially because as entrepreneurs, we are on our devices more than others.
So how do we strike that balance and have a healthy relationship with technology despite the fact that we kind of need it?
All of this comes into play when it comes to developing your path forward to have this healthy relationship with technology as a family, because likely only a very small percentage of you might choose that path where there’s no technology whatsoever.
[4:02] The Values
Recently, we have talked a lot about your family mission statement and your “True North” values. And there’s a reason we talked about this long before we ever broached the subject of technology specifically. Now, we want to hone in a little more specifically on a guiding statement for your family that you can use when it comes to technology. Why? Because sometimes the line between the online world and the real world can get really blurry. And it’s important to have something that’s going to ground you, something that you can come back to and refer to as a family or when one of your team members is out of alignment. If you haven’t done those exercises yet, head on over to https://luminaryleadershipco.com/truenorth because this is a great starting place that’s going to help you establish those values you need to go into future pieces of the exercise I’m going to talk about today.
So, the first step is having each family member write out those 5 to 10 characteristics they want to be known by, or the values that they want to live by every day. Also, you can use this list as a guide on how you actually interact in the online world.
[6:20] The Boundaries
The second step is writing out some boundaries that your family will be able to abide by, to help direct the role you allow technology to play in your home. Because this is not a passive process; it’s taking an active role and being hyper aware of how you’re choosing to allow technology to be used in your home.
Some examples could be phones are plugged in downstairs and not allowed in the bedrooms or around the dinner table. Or maybe you have some processes where kids can earn time with devices, or lose time with devices. This is so helpful, because the reality is that discipline is a powerful tool but it also often shows how imperfect we are and on top of that, these devices are designed to be addictive. So, instead of constantly having to fight nature, what are some boundaries that you can put into place to make it easier to stick to how you want technology to be used in your home?
[11:50] The Phone Etiquette
Step three is talking about what phone etiquette will be for your family.
For example, how you use it when you’re in the presence of other people, how you use it in public, not allowed to interact online with people they don’t know, etc. These are things to consider and I think it’s so critical.
Trust me, I know this is not easy. We have three little kids. Do you know how much easier it would be to put a phone in front of my kid when we’re at a restaurant and she’s fussing versus taking her out of the restaurant or having to work through the tantrum? But we just have a hard line on that in our family, we will not be the family where the kids are just completely zoned out watching television, as we go out to dinner for a family experience. That, to me, is to the detriment of my children. It might be to my comfort and ease at that moment, but it’s not to their benefit long term. And I’m here to play the long-game with my kids. I’m not here to end tantrums, I’m here to raise leaders and help my kids become the people they’re called to be. And that oftentimes means doing the harder thing.
[14:34] The Warning Signs
Step four is to discuss what to do if a family member sees something concerning or alarming online and how to help them understand what that would look like.
Kids are innocently playing games or doing things online without realizing there might be a predator on the other side of that screen. So, how can you help them look for those warning signs and create a safe place to have a discussion? And when something like this happens, how can you make them vigilant and advocate for themselves? These are the kinds of things that when you open up these conversations early and often, they’ll feel safer coming to you.
[15:42] The Agreement
Step five is to write the bullet points from these discussions and summarize what your family has agreed on; the boundaries, the standards by which you guys have chosen to live. This will be your guide and reminder for when things get off balance. And you can go as far as printing that out and having each member sign it. Have each member have some skin in the game.
[16:37] The Danger
Technology is in every part of our lives and it’s hard to just avoid it. But when you can have strengthening, powerful and grounding conversations and boundaries as a family that align with your value system, you can live by those things.
I know there are a lot of parents out there who think it’s completely innocent. Stop assuming that this is innocent, stop thinking that you’re the lesser of the evils because there are other parents out there who have no boundaries with iPads and you let your kid have yours only for a little bit. Wake up. This is literally transforming our children and we are the main culprits. We are addicted to our phones, our brain chemistry has changed. We pick up our frickin’ phones constantly. If it’s not in our pocket or by our side, we’re uncomfortable. This is a problem.
We cannot go forward just blind, we cannot go forward just assuming that it’s innocent to give our kid access to the entire world. We don’t get to say it’s just a technology world and we’re just living in it.
I hope this episode serves as your wakeup call that gets you to a place where you understand that this has to be addressed head on. This episode is all about educating and informing you, giving you options so that you can make the right decisions for your family.
We would love it if you would subscribe and leave us a review! And come connect with me on Instagram at @elizhartke and if there’s a topic, a question or a guest you want to hear on the show or an idea you have for us, just reach out and share that.
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RESOURCES FROM THIS EPISODE: