A Focus Series

Kids, phones and screen time

Helping kids to wisely manage their digital world
Inside this Series

When it comes to using smartphones, computers and other digital devices wisely, there’s a lot of ground to cover with your kids, because for everything that this tech offers, it also demands something too. Easy access to unlimited entertainment means kids need to learn resolute self-discipline. Contact with friends 24/7 via their smartphone means kids need to learn how to set personal boundaries. Changing definitions of “friend” means kids have to learn who they can trust and how to stay safe online. Constant exposure to their friends’ seemingly perfect lives means kids have to know how to guard against comparison, envy and a sense of being “less than” their friends . . . and on it goes.

The articles and resources on this page will help guide you as you coach your kids in how to make smart decisions about how they use their screens.

Keeping your family relationships strong

Your child's phone keeps them connected to their friends. But what about within your family? Are screens bringing you closer, or weakening your relationships with your kids? Join youth expert Jonathan McKee for tips on how to connect with your tech-absorbed tweens or teens. Get started

Setting wise limits

Help your family make smart decisions when it comes to cellphones, computers and digital technology! This free guide will help you set wise limits and have important discussions about safety online when it comes to using social media, video gaming, dealing with online bullying and more. Download here

Focus on the Family Broadcast: “How to Take Your Family Through a Digital Fast

Recommended resources

Parenting Generation Screen by Jonathan McKee

Becoming a Screen-Savvy Family by Paul Asay (Coming in March 2024)

Digital Detox: The Two-Week Tech Reset for Kids by Molly DeFrank

Screen Kids: 5 Skills Every Child Needs in a Tech-Driven World by Gary Chapman and Arlene Pellicane

The Teen's Guide to Face to Face Connections in a Screen-to-Screen World by Jonathan McKee and Alyssa McKee

Guy's Guide to Four Battles Every Young Man Must Face: A Manual to Overcoming Life's Common Distractions by Jonathan McKee

Managing social media

Recommended resources

The Teen's Guide to Social Media and Mobile Devices by Jonathan McKee

My Tech-Wise Life: Growing Up and Making Choices in a World of Devices by Amy and Andy Crouch

Staying safe online

Sexting, cyberbullying and sextortion

Recommended resources

Parents and child victims of sexting, cyberbullying and sextortion can find more help at Cybertip.ca or at NeedHelpNow.ca.

Online gaming

Media discernment

Recommended resources

In addition to helpful media reviews, Plugged In provides step-by-step guides and video tutorials that help you set up parental controls to protect your kids from mature content in the streaming services you use. Follow these links for instructions for Apple TV+, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu and Paramount+.