Screen time. Much debated. Much maligned, by parents and kids. But what to do? Here are some tips we’ve found to help you make managing screen time easier.
Lead by example
Kids are great mimics & they are always watching. If you spend a lot of time looking at a screen at home, then set family rules around them and stick to it.
Parents are children’s first role models and it’s up to us to lead by example.
Set daily limits
This is less about punishing them and more about teaching them what is healthy and constructive. This also goes for us adults too!
If you do have problems with too much screen time, then gradually reduce the amount of time. Think of it as cutting back rather than going cold turkey.
Toys not tech
It can be difficult when you are out and caught on the hop, but resist the urge to give children a screen to entertain them. There is value in being bored. Pack cars or a small notepad and pen for a small and easy way to entertain the kids while waiting.
Go tech free
There are places where technology isn’t appropriate. Scientists agree that technology in the bedroom makes for poor sleep hygiene, not to mention the temptation to check! So set boundaries for the family as to where technology is and isn’t accepted. Perhaps set a single charging station for all devices.
Manage the tech
There are many devices and tools out there to manage access to programs or the internet as a whole. Most routers will allow you to block access to sites, some will switch off access to the internet at a certain time for a particular device (that stops the kids sneaking onto the internet when they should be asleep).
Enjoy tech time together. This can be playing a game or watching a movie. Technology can bring people together.
Spend time together without technology, not just at dinner. Enjoy the outdoors, sports, hobbies, and the arts as a family. There’s a world out there that the internet opens up to us, it’s up to us to get offline & actually explore it!