Technology and screen time are one of the most talked about, if not the biggest, challenge facing parents of this new generation today. How much, how often, what kind, how much control and supervision – the list of potential landmines is endless, ever-growing, and starts before your child even speaks his first word.
Every parent is looking for ways to encourage their family to have a healthier, more moderate relationship with technology.
Here are 5 suggestions we think could work for you.
5. Use it to Your Advantage
There are tons of downsides when it comes to kids and the internet, but there are some that can majorly set your mind at ease, too.
Don’t be afraid to use tracking tools, monitoring tools, and tools that let you pre-authorize purchases and free downloads, as well.
4. Set Boundaries
Figure out your no-nos early (violent video games, social media that extends beyond real-life friends, whatever) and don’t let your kids make you guilt you into changing your mind.
Because so-and-so’s parents let them do something has never, and will never, be a decent reason to do anything.
3. Be Transparent as to Your Whys
If your kids are old enough to be on the internet when they’re not right under your nose, they’re old enough to understand at least the general reasons why your rules are what they are.
Screen time affects our brains and our sleep, not everyone is friendly and safe, and fresh air and using our hands for something other than typing are essential for good health.
Moderation is key, like it is with all aspects of life, so that’s a lesson that can be applied across the board.
2. Make Sleep a Priority
There are numerous studies relating sleep issues with screens to close to bed time (and sleeping with screens near our bodies), so if your kids won’t listen or try to sneak under-the-cover screen time, try using a tool that turns the internet off after a certain hour.
Who knows, it might be good for everyone in the house.
1. Utilize a Time Out
Taking away screens is a great discipline tool, since they’re something most kids struggle to live without, even for a few hours. That said, you don’t need a reason for scheduling a time out beyond your concern that their device is doing more harm than good – you’re their parent, and it’s your job to keep them safe, no matter the forum.
My kids are little and we already angst about this – I think the earlier we can establish boundaries, the better.
Do you do any of these in your house? Do you have more suggestions for us?
Drop them in the comments!