Date Posted: 16/11/2020
Many parents now have kids who grew up in a generation with advanced technology. When you are in public, you can see kids holding phones, tablets or iPads. Devices and smartphones have become, for many children, the primary source of entertainment. However, parents can often struggle to reduce the amount of screentime their children are exposed to.
The question now is: what can parents do? Here are some helpful tips:
Don’t allow kids to have gadgets inside the bedroom.
Kids are often given the freedom to use their gadgets right before sleeping which will affect their ability to fall asleep and can, ultimately, result in insomnia. It might be hard for your kids to agree to this but explain to them that this is for their mental health and wellness. Explain to them that using their gadgets can make them more anxious right before sleep.
Your child must know what you expect from them and will usually respond positively to proper communication. When not confronted, it can be hard for them to realize that they’re going overboard or that what they’re doing is wrong. The best way to deal with this is to give measurable expectations. For example, you may provide them allotted screentime: tell them that during school days, entertainment apps are not allowed outside of a set hour or so in the evening.
Be a good example
Our children look up to us to provide an example to follow. If you are using your phone all the time, or during mealtimes, they will believe it’s okay to do that. Before you ask your children to be disciplined, you must show them first. This way, they will be encouraged to follow your lead.
Encourage activities that will not have to use gadgets.
Kids tend to use their gadgets because they think that they don’t have other things to do. But if it’s a fun activity and something that will make them feel interested and curious, encourage them to do it. For example, you can teach them to bake or to cook. You could also ask them to try gardening or to make arts and crafts with you. The key here is asking them to do it with you rather than just commanding them to do it by themselves.
Keep the wifi off during times of the day.
You can also implement this rule: turning off the wifi when not needed. If your kids have unlimited access, they will use it because they are curious and always interested. Babies and younger children can adapt fast: you can turn off the wifi, they will find something new to do in no time.
Do not let them own a smartphone or gadget.
Being disciplined when it comes to using gadgets is a big responsibility, sometimes kids can’t handle this. This is not because they are spoiled children, but because developmentally, it’s hard for them to control themselves. You can help them by not giving them such a massive responsibility at a young age.
Modern-day technology is now a part of our everyday lives. As parents, it might be challenging to raise your kids in the modern age while still managing to set boundaries. It is a learning process: all you can do is remember that guidance in using modern technology is still needed, especially for younger kids.