Find balance as a family

Technology opens the world for kids, enabling them to express their curiosity and connect with family near and far. Find ways to engage with your kid’s interests, discover appropriate content, set ground rules, and teach them to be confident online explorers. Use the following conversation guide and the five simple tips below to help improve your family’s tech habits.

For many families, it can be tough to find a balance with technology. Jason Brand LCSW, Nick Allen Ph.D., and Natasha Bhuyan M.D. propose ways for families to align on tech use.

Family guide

Talk about technology with your family

To help you tackle the tough questions, we’ve created a guide to spark productive conversations and identify healthy habits that work for your whole family.

Open guide
Illustration of family activities

  1. Set screen time limits with your kids

    Include your kids in helping define digital ground rules that make sense for everyone.

    • Family Link

      Monitor app usage.

      See how much time your kids spend on their favorite apps with weekly or monthly activity reports, and set daily screen time limits.

      Learn more Opens in new window
      A Google phone screen showing 48 minutes of Duo usage and 40 minutes of Chrome usage for that day.
    • Family Link

      Lock a device.

      Whether it’s time to go play outside, have dinner, or just spend time together, Family Link allows you to remotely lock a device whenever it’s time to take a break.

      Learn more Opens in new window
      A Google phone screen that shows the device is locked until 7:30am.
    • Family Link

      Set screen time limits.

      Decide the right amount of screen time as a family, and set time limits and bedtimes for their devices.

      Learn more Opens in new window
      A Google phone screen showing the Bedtime schedule for the device being set for 9:30pm to 7:30am.
    • Google Wifi

      Pause your Wi-Fi.

      Google Wifi allows you to decide when your family has access to the Internet by pausing connectivity on one or all devices simultaneously, or helping your kids wind down by scheduling a break.

      Learn more Opens in new window
      A Google phone screen showing "Madison's tablet" and "Madison's phone" have been paused.
    • YouTube Kids

      Manage video time.

      YouTube Kids allows you to set up a timer to put limits on how long your kids can spend watching videos.

      Learn more Opens in new window
      A tablet showing the time limit on the device being set for 30 minutes, at which point the app will lock.
  2. Have the tech talk

    Start a conversation with your kids on how to be smart, safe, and kind on the Internet.

    • Be Internet Awesome

      Learn about digital citizenship and safety.

      Be Internet Awesome helps kids become smart, confident explorers online with the Interland game for kids, resources for parents, and a robust curriculum for teachers.

      Visit site Opens in new window
      A Google phone that shows the many offerings on the website Be Internet Awesome.
    • A laptop showing the homescreen for the game Interland on the Be Internet Awesome website.
      Interland

      Play your way to being Internet awesome.

      Interland gives your kids a fun, engaging way to practice Be Internet Awesome's lessons of digital safety and citizenship.

      Play the game Opens in new window
      A laptop showing the homescreen for the game Interland on the Be Internet Awesome website.
  3. Guide them to the good stuff

    Discover and curate content that your kids will like (and you will too).

    • Find appropriate content

      Family Link

      Get teacher-recommended apps.

      It can be hard to figure out what apps are right for your kids, so Family Link shows you teacher-recommended apps that you can add directly to their device.

      Learn more Opens in new window
      A Google phone that shows a screen offering two apps recommended by teachers: MarcoPolo Ocean and Scratch Jr.
    • YouTube Kids

      Choose the right experience for your family.

      Parent Approved Mode allows you to choose the videos and channels your kids have access to.

      Learn more Opens in new window
      A tablet that shows a child's YouTube watching history.
    • Block explicit content

      Google Wifi

      Automatically block explicit websites.

      With Google Wifi, you can turn on Google’s SafeSearch to automatically block content from the devices your kids use.

      Learn more Opens in new window
      "A Google phone screen that shows that SafeSearch's automatic blocking is turned on for a child named Madison.
  4. Play together

    Setting time aside each week to use technology with your kids is a great way to understand what interests them, and to learn and explore together as a family.

    • See the world together.

      With Google Earth you can take a guided tour around the globe with some of the world's leading storytellers and scientists.

      Visit site Opens in new window
      A tablet showing an overhead view of snowy mountains from Google Earth.
    • YouTube Kids

      Discover what’s possible.

      The real magic of YouTube Kids isn’t the videos — it’s what happens next. When kids discover a new interest on YouTube Kids, they lose themselves in exploration. They paint, build, learn, cook, and play and can’t wait to show off what they’ve accomplished. And with a suite of parental controls, grown-ups can ensure it’s always the right experience for their family.

      Download Opens in new window
      A tablet showing many different family-friendly videos on YouTube kids.
  5. Explore offline activities

    Technology can provide great jumping-off points for all sorts of offline experiences. Map your way to a hike for the whole family, discover a new recipe to cook, or start a DIY project with some guidance from a helpful video.

    To explore new things offline, a mother and her two young daughters chop a red pepper in the kitchen.

More tips

Explore more ways to fine-tune your tech habits