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 logo

      Manage app usage.

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

      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 logo

      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 logo

      Set screen time limits.

      Decide the right amount of screen time as a family, and set time limits and bedtimes for their devices. You can also grant bonus screen time when your child needs a few more minutes to finish up what they’re doing.

      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 logo

      Pause your Wi-Fi.

      Nest Wifi and Google Wifi allow you to decide when your family has access to the Internet by pausing connectivity on one or all devices simultaneously, or help 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 logo

      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 a 30-minute time limit being set, 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 logo

      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 logo

      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).

    • Guide them to good content

      Family Link logo

      Get teacher-recommended apps.

    • YouTube Kids logo

      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 logo

      Automatically block explicit websites.

      With Nest Wifi and 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 SafeSearch's automatic blocking turned on for a child.
  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 logo

      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.

More tips

Explore more ways to fine-tune your tech habits

* Teacher-recommended apps are only available in the US to parents of children of certain ages.