Family Rules

Family Rules

Mobile devices can be much more challenging to control than traditional desktop and laptop computers.  Whether it's the smartphone in their pocket or the school iPad, mobile devices require new approaches to their management inside and outside the home.

These rules have some mobile-specific aspects, but generally work just as well if your child uses a laptop or desktop computer.

Here are some rules that many families are finding useful for managing their child's screen time and mobile device usage. 

Privileges and Consequences

Use of a mobile device should be presented to your child as a privilege, not a right.  Like any privilege, it can then be revoked if rules aren't followed.

Device Bed Time

Set a time each night that all device usage ends.  This time should be at least one hour before your child's real bed time as screen use inhibits everyone's ability to get to sleep.


All devices should be charged away from the child's bedroom.  This could be out in a shared area like the kitchen, or even the parent's bedroom for added security!

Study Time

Social networking, texting, phone calls and gaming are all enemies of effective study time.  Set homework time to at least be 'phone free' time.

Depending on their school's technology program, some or all of your child's homework may require online access.  In this case it is difficult to restrict access to social media while ensuring they can still get to the rest of the internet which they need for their homework.  Some parental control solutions can provide help in this area.