Smartphones, computers, even TVs — tips to negotiate media limits.

Avoid starting a fight over his phone

Sure, we were amused by the story of Madonna’s son choosing to live with dad because she confiscated his mobile phone (and wouldn’t let him watch TV).

But kids’ smart gadgets, computers and TV time are all things we parents must deal with. SmartParents talked to family counsellor Dr Hana Ra Adams who commented: “Be very clear about your rules and expectations of behaviour on social media.”

1. Set guidelines of when cellphones or computers are allowed at home and don't be afraid to enforce media breaks. Especially if you have been practising non-judgemental listening to your child, they will like having your attention.

2. Charge your teenager’s phone or laptop in a central location, such as the dining room, or in your bedroom at night so that your children’s bedtime routine is not interrupted by blue screens.

3. Depending on your child's age and when you start allowing them to use social-media accounts, have them share their password with you and keep active conversations going about who they are talking with online and who they are following on various sites.

4. When giving them their smartphone, one way to keep tabs on their usage is to inform them from the outset on your boundaries for them — you can, for instance insist on the right to spot-check their phones.

As parents, a good idea is to keep talking with our juniors, as various social media are now interwoven in our lives. One idea is to talk over a Family Media Agreement. This will give your children some boundaries — and hopefully, keep your from tearing your hair out…

Photo: ING Images