Your children surely need to use their smartphones and tablets as a way of remaining up to speed with technological advancement. They can use the devices for online gaming, socializing with peers, or learning, among other things.
However, it is important to keep tabs with the amount of time spent online. Managing your children's screen time is crucial to safeguard them from becoming a smartphone and Internet addicts.
Read the following tips for managing children's screen time to remain on top of matters.
Tip 1: Remain updated on electronics
Modern-day kids are tech-savvy. The majority of them are more advanced in their understanding of electronics than adults. If you are to control their screen time, you need to know what you are dealing with.
For instance, how would you have a conversation with your children about social media bullying if you do not know what it involves? Or how would you get them not to play violent games without understanding the ratings of an intense game?
Start off by gaining basic knowledge of gadgets in order to have a better framework for presenting a strong casing point. Do not make the same mistake that most adults do – assume that they are better than their children at everything, tech included.
Tip 2: Parental controls
Devices give parents control over what their children can do. Take advantage of the various parental control features available. For example, you can regulate the kind of content they can view and one that is blocked.
Various apps are designed specifically for reducing screen time. You can use these apps to do things such as automatically locking the device at designated times. You may also switch their gadgets manually from your device.
A common complaint among parents is that children carry their devices to the dining table. Luckily, there exists an Android App called DinnerTime, which lets you switch off your children's device as deemed necessary. You can lock it at dinner time, study time, bedtime, or when you need them to do something else. Don't just watch as your kids turn into a zombie!
Tip 3: Have a schedule
No matter how much you attempt to control your kid's screen time, it is important to also let them have a sense of responsibility. Work with them to set duration and time when they can play on the iPhone or watch their favorite shows. Make it clear that the schedule is serious, and you cannot compromise on it. More importantly, they should understand that it is for their good. In so doing, they feel they are a part of the whole process and willingly follow it.
Remember that schedules are more effective on younger children. As they get older, sticking to a schedule may prove challenging in light of homework and extracurricular activities. In such a situation, you introduce elements like tokens associated with the amount of screen time missed. These tokens are cashed in for agreed-upon rewards.
Tip 4: Justify the screen time
Bring some sense of reason for the time spent on the screen. Come up with a way that your children can explain what they are doing on the screen and whether or not it is worth it. When you make them think about what they are doing on the screen, you are basically giving them a chance to also think about other things they could do at that time.
Too much screen time risks raising kids who are addicted to gadgets. As proven by research, this has an impact on their mental development. Make it an objective to manage your children's screen time using the tips shared.