You may have heard that the offline use of technology among children can have negative effects on their social, mental, and physical health. However, completely banning your kids from using gadgets may not be practical since technology is also used as an educational tool, these days. Also, as this article from Time points out, that parents need to set “intentional goals” regarding their children’s relationship with technology, as well as learn what their kids are involved with, tech-wise. Here are some practical ways to help set healthy parameters for your child’s tech mania.
Monitor what your kids play and watch on their screens
You should be aware of what your kids watch and play on your tablets or mobile phones. Don’t let your kids be exposed to sites and games with violent and adult content. Closely monitor their online activities, even if your children may not necessarily appreciate your doing so.
Don’t allow your kids to create social media accounts until a more mature age
There are a lot of arguments against your kids having social media accounts. Among these, the potential for it to negatively impact their self-esteem, as well as the threat that this platform poses to your child’s safety. Cyberspace crimes are more common than you think.
Set some ground rules for gadget use
Your kids should not feel that they can use gadgets whenever they like. Set rules for their gadget use. Provide a window every day for the time they spend on their gadgets – and stick to your rules. For example, on a school-day, completely prohibit them from being on the screen unless necessary. However, it is also important that you communicate with them why you are imposing these rules.
Encourage other activities that don’t involve the use of gadgets
Involve your kids in other activities that allow them to interact with other children outside of the chat box. Nurture your kids’ interests in physical activities like sports. For instance, look for taekwondo classes for kids to tap into the physical, as well as mental, benefits of sports. Moreover, as a family, spend time bonding without the use of gadgets. Go on a beach or camping trip, take a stroll in the park, or play board games.
Be a good example to your children
If your children can see how absorbed you are with your gadgets, how can you expect them to be disciplined about using theirs? You must also set a window for gadget use every day. Turn off your notifications. And make sure that your gadgets are out of sight during meal times.
The experts have it: it’s wise to safeguard your kids’ brain development, as early as possible. Exposure to gadgets, mobile games, and social media can seriously impact their health, so it’s necessary that they don’t use these excessively.