Pastoral Care

How to set boundaries with technology

Are you a parent who, like me, wishes that we could raise our kids in an era where iPhones, Play Station and social media didn’t exist? Wouldn’t family life have way less conflict if this was our reality? Unfortunately, this is just a pipe dream!   

So as a parent, what can we do to keep ourselves sane when it comes to our children’s technology use? The way that my husband and I navigate this issue is by developing a contract with our children that outlines when they’re allowed to use technology and what they’re allowed to do on their devices. If they violate the contract, they lose all technology privileges for 24 hours. If they violate the contract again, they lose the privileges for 48 hours and so on. The only way that this contract works is if my husband and I follow through on the consequences. As my kids know the rules and have signed the contract, they rarely break it because it’s just not worth the risk.   

One suggestion that I have when putting together a contract is to include your children in on the process. Ask them what they think is fair regarding how much time they should be allowed to spend on their deviceswhat they should be allowed to do, and what the consequences should be if they violate the contractMaybe you could develop one contract for school term time and another one for the holidays. This seems to work well with my own children. 

If you’ve never developed a contract with your children before or set firm boundaries, it’s highly likely that they will resist at first. I would like to encourage you to persevere, as life is so much easier when the whole family understands and abides by the rules.   

Technology is not going to go away, so we need to work out a way to navigate our daily life without it consuming our children’s lives and becoming a daily battleDeveloping a contract is one way to navigate this issue. 

I hope that you found these suggestions helpful. Feel free to reach out to our Pastoral Care Team at any time if you have any questions or concerns about your child’s wellbeing. Our Pastoral Care email address is 



Julie McGovern

College Counsellor