How to manage your child’s screen time
Be a role model and set an example
Children look up to their parents and learn from their behaviour, therefore when teaching your child about limiting screen time you need to ensure you’re setting a good example. If you’re constantly glued to your smart phone and posting status updates at the dinner table, how can you expect to discipline your child for being on their device at these specific times, when you’re on your smartphone!
Additionally, don’t use screens as a way of keeping your child quiet and comforting them. This is a bad habit to start off and once underway it could quickly become a challenging problem. If a situation arises where a screen is not accessible then you’ll have a battle in your hands.
Set aside daily ‘tech free’ time. If you incorporate this routine into a part of your daily lives it allows your family to bond with one another without technology being the focus. Interactions and communications are essential for your child to develop skills and relationships. With us hearing about the increase of youngsters suffering with mental health illnesses, and the impact that social media is having on society, teaching your child about having a healthy balance with technology is essential.
By setting rules and limits this avoids grey areas (and quarrels!) There is a variety of parental control software available on the market, such as Qustodio, so if you want to set online time limits and restrictions for content, then parental control software is a brilliant option. It’s also important to consider restricting certain devices from entering the bedroom (e.g. smartphones, tablets and laptops). Furthermore, ensure your child has time to wind-down before bed without technology in front of them.
Explain the consequences if rules are broken
Decide on the rules you want to enforce and you can even display this somewhere clearly in the home to act as a reminder to everyone.
Teach them that technology can be educational
Show your child that the internet can also be used for educational purposes. There’s more to the online world than playing games and watching impractical YouTube videos. The internet is ginormous and if used sensibly it can benefit them academically. If there’s a particular subject which they’re fascinated by, for example the solar system or animals, then you can encourage them to spend time researching interesting topics that they want to learn more about.
Ultimately, you’re the parent and you have the choice to when your child is permitted to use their computer, tablet or smartphone. Screen times can be limited with the use of parental control software and educating your child about the positives and negatives of the internet is fundamental. We hope you’ve found the above tips helpful and if you have any other suggestions you can comment below.