Tackling your child’s tech usage if you have shared custody

Many modern American parents are currently grappling with a frustrating task. These individuals are struggling to manage their children’s usage of technology in a world that increasingly makes such technology accessible and inviting during all hours of the day and night. It is difficult enough to manage your child’s potential infatuation with technology if you and your co-parent are on the same page. However, it can be downright aggravating to navigate this issue if you share child custody with your co-parent and you each take a different approach to technology usage.

Perhaps you think that kids should use electronic devices, watch television and access the Internet as much as they please. Perhaps you would rather your children not interact with this kind of technology at all, especially if your children are very young. Or perhaps you believe that your kids should access electronic technology within prescribed limits. If your co-parent does not share your view, it can be difficult to know how to best handle the situation.

If this issue is pressing and important to you, you may want to ask your family law attorney about addressing it formally within your parenting plan. That way, you and your co-parent can agree to enforceable limits on your child’s access to educational and entertainment-based electronic technology. You can also discuss the issue informally and try to enforce a mutual set of expectations while your children are at either house.

However, if your co-parent insists on taking a different approach from yours and is not compelled by a court to behave otherwise, it is important to understand that you can only enforce your approach under your roof. Making your child’s limits consistent when he or she is with you is the best approach you can take when attempting to communicate your values and priorities clearly to your children and the rest of your family.

Source: The Huffington Post, “6 Ways to Manage Children’s Technology Use With Shared Physical Custody,” Dr. Kate Roberts, March 4, 2014

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