Technology & Kids: How to Limit Screen Time
November 23, 2018 by Lily Wright
Have you ever found yourself gazing into the electronic abyss of your iPhone or iPad, suddenly shocked by what you’ve been staring at for the unknown length of time you’ve been lost in cyber-thought? You’re not alone, and you’re not to blame. Technology is everywhere, and yes, we’ve all been conditioned over time to need our phones and screens as much as possible. It’s no secret that adults everywhere struggle with the amount of screen time they’ve conditioned themselves to need, and social media, the constant onslaught of news, and several gamifying apps have kept us hooked. But what about our kids? How do parents in 2018 ensure that their children spend a healthy amount of time away from the screens that have become an everyday part of our lives? Namu explores a few helpful tips below.
Set Boundaries & Limits
According to a recent article by CBS News, kids and teens aged 8 to 18 spend an average of more than seven hours a day looking at screens. Some leading experts recommend creating “media & screen free” zones in the house. This concept explores the idea of making certain rooms & places in the house completely free of technology, like at the dinner table or kitchen, or in your child’s bedroom. When kids understand that certain areas of the house are tech-free zones, they’ll be more likely to be conscious of the times they’re picking up their screens.
Urge Your Kids to Play Outside
Implementing specific rules about playtime is important, and urging your children to play outside is necessary. The good old days of building forts and playing tag may feel like a world away – its up to you to remind your kids of all the fun they could be having in the backyard, with the neighborhood kids, or in a local park.
Set a Good Example
If your kids see you on your phone or laptop constantly, they’re going to assume that kind of technology-addicted behavior is normal & OK. It’s up to you as a parent to set a good example of how to be present and aware, with technology stored away at the appropriate times. This means keeping your phone away while playing with your kids, while outside in the backyard, or when helping them with their homework & cooking dinner together.
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