Technology is a significant part of our life and culture today. The whole world runs on technology, so there is no escaping the screens. Many parents can look at this as a positive or negative trend depending on how you feel about screen time and its outcome on kids. One thing is for sure, if you are not managing your child’s screen use, there may be some regret.
Managing screen time is more than reducing time spent and access. What are the best practices for managing your child’s screen time? New Horizon Academy put together a list with what you should know about managing your child’s screen time.
Model Use of Electronics
Parents are children’s first teachers. If you want your children to use technology appropriately, you will need to model those healthy digital habits you are instilling in them.
Promote Other Activities
To ensure your child has a healthy balance between screen time and life, you as the parent have to engage with them and keep them busy with other activities. Create family traditions of game night or take your kids outside to play. Go on a bike ride or bring them to the museum. Screens and other technologies are lovely, but spending time as a family will surely be more important than the latest gadget.
Make Screen Time a Privilege
Kids are just handed devices that previous generations would have had to work for. For example, most parents buy their kids phones simply because they asked for one. At the very least, a child should put away their toys or clean up to earn any screen time. This teaches them that nothing is free in this life, and they should earn the time spent on devices.
Leave Electronics in a Central Location
Keep all tablets, cell phones, laptops, etc. in a central location, such as the living room, so you can monitor. This will also reduce the temptation to use the devices in other parts of the house, like the kitchen or bedrooms. It may not work for your family, but even going as far as having no screen zones in the home, such as the dinner table, is a great idea.
Limit Screen Time
Children should have as minimal exposure to screens as possible, especially Infants and toddlers. This includes iPads, TV, etc. Educate them on why it is important to limit their exposure to screens. If you explain it to them clearly, they should understand.