If you and your co-parent have both chosen to remain in your children’s lives and you each spend significant amounts of time with them, you are likely both running into a similar conundrum related to how you are choosing to raise them. American children are increasingly connected to each other using technology and are increasingly turning to electronic devices for both educational purposes and entertainment. Children as young as two-years-old often eagerly accept and play with a host of electronic devices.
If you and your co-parent have shared child custody or both have substantial decision-making power when it comes to your children’s lives, you are likely both invested in what electronic devices your children have access to and how often they are allowed to interact with them. Managing your children’s usage of electronic entertainment technology can feel overwhelming, however there are ways that you and your co-parent can peacefully manage this particular aspect of your children’s lives.
It is important to remember that unless your parenting plan specifies otherwise, each of you has a right to set specific access and time limits related to technology when your children are residing with you. While it is ideal for you and your co-parent to set similar limits, this is not a legal requirement unless you construct boundaries in your parenting plan.
However, if you and your co-parent would like to get on the same page in regards to this issue, it may be worth having a discussion about the issue and creating a technology usage plan together. If you do not already use a mutual family calendar online, you might consider logging tech time on this particular kind of resource.
Whether you cooperate on matters of electronic device access or choose to implement different policies at each household, it is important for both of you to remain consistent under your own roof and treat the other parent’s approach with respect. Failure to do so may result in your child trying to play you both against each other or your child being confused about what to expect.
Source: The Huffington Post, “6 Ways to Manage Children’s Technology Use With Shared Physical Custody,” Dr. Kate Roberts, March 4, 2014