Establish rules

To implement winning conditions for screen use at home, it is important to establish rules for all family members, young and old!

Établir des règles

Limit screen time

Define the permitted duration of use according to:

  • age: reduce screen time to a minimum for toddlers and determine a daily schedule of use for older kids according to their age and needs;
  • context: determine a schedule for use dedicated to professional or academic obligations (emails to colleagues, study time, etc.) and limit use for recreational purposes (social media, video games, streaming, etc.).

Remember that “screen time” is the total time spent in front of different screens, for school as well as fun… It adds up quickly!

Promote quality content

As a family, discuss the quality of the content consumed by everyone by insisting on the importance of prioritising online activities that provide the most benefits.

  • Prioritise higher quality content.
  • Limit “empty digital calories”.
  • Prohibit content that is violent, explicit, etc.

Identify the appropriate moments for screen use

As for the quality of content, discuss the moments when screens aren’t a good idea and the importance of limiting screen use to the situations where it is considered appropriate to be connected.

Determine together the moments that are appropriate and those that are inappropriate.

Determine responsibilities

Define the responsibilities of every family member regarding:

  • Internet use (e.g., Wi-Fi access, data limits of your family plan or of each smartphone, etc.);
  • devices (e.g., the home computer, family tablet, personal smartphone). It is important to define, right from the start, the risks and responsibilities that come with owning or sharing a device. Consult the “PAUSE pact”, a template agreement to use if you plan on giving your child a device.