Technology has now become an important part of our lives and has made a huge impact on people of all fields, ages and walks of life – both positively and negatively. Unlike adults though, children need guidance when it comes to the use of technology to ensure that they reap the benefits instead of its negative effects.
But as parents, how can you limit screen time without compromising your child’s happiness?
1. Set an example.
Children see their parents as role models that’s why as a parent, you have an important role to set a good example to establish good values and behaviors. That’s why if you want to set certain rules regarding the use of gadgets, make sure to do the same. Your kids will find it hard to follow your rule of keeping gadgets off the dinner table when their moms and dads can’t keep their hands of their smartphones while eating.
2. Be involved in your children’s lives.
Some parents resort to just letting their kids play on their gadgets all day because they are too busy to deal with them. Successful parenting means that you need to be involved in your children’s lives – spend time talking to them every day, get down on the floor and play with them and read them books. They’ll be happy to switch off the TV and put away their gadgets to spend time with their parents.
3. Encourage other fun activities.
Instead of just sitting all day watching TV or playing games on their gadgets, encourage your child to do other fun activities. Get them involved in sports, play with board games, read books, do arts & crafts and a lot more. This is a very effective way to reduce screen time without compromising fun.
4. Keep media out of your kids’ bedrooms.
To ensure that your kids don’t sneak up or stay up late tinkering with their gadgets or watching TV, just keep media out of their bedrooms. It’s easier to exercise control this way.
5. Set a screen time schedule.
As a family, sit down and talk about your screen-time guidelines and rules. You can’t just enforce a rule without explaining it to your kids. You need to talk to them about the reason why these rules are enforced, what good they can get out of this and what happens if they choose to disobey.
6. Use technology to help you control their usage.
As technology grows, so are the options for parents to have control over children’s usage. You don’t have to invade your child’s privacy but you can control what they see and the time spent on their devices.
Here are the options that you can use:
- Use Passcodes on all devices. – Passwords and Fingerprint Passcodes are very helpful to keep your children off their devices when it’s not yet time for them to use it.
- Amazon FreeTime – This is a subscription offered by Amazon that has the best parental controls. Aside from thousands of age-appropriate contents for your kids to enjoy, parents can set daily limits, restrict certain apps, control what they see online, avoid in-app purchases and monitor and set educational goals.
- Apps or Softwares – There is a wide variety of parental control apps and software to choose from like Norton Family Premiere and Qustodio.