Do you find yourself with kids who can’t keep their eyes off the screen? Do you ever think that maybe your use of your devices (tablets and phones) could be the reason for their attachment? A recent report states parents check their phones an average of 70 times a day — are you one of them?
Below we provide advice to help you spend your screen time wisely without impacting your children:
- When around your children, keep off your devices
- Pay attention to your children; the second they see you’re distracted with your device they feel second in line and after multiple occurrences they will start to not pay you attention
- Take time to be outside and away from any devices. Getting fresh air can help everyone feel better— lifting spirits and moods
- If you have to be attached to your phone, try to do it when your kids aren’t begging for attention. If you can wait until they are busy or sleeping do so, but if it can’t wait then just step aside and let the children understand that you need some time to get something done on your device
It’s important that we as adults may have a hard time jumping off our devices, just imagine being four and getting sucked into the world of fantasy and games — it can be pretty hard! We’ve talked about how we can limit our own time as parents, but what can we do to help our kids stay off the devices:
- Use apps that have timers built into them
- Get kids used to natural endings, meaning have them end their use of the device when the game is over or when the episode ends
- Reward kids when they listen to you when asked to put their device down
- Have an activity planned for after they are done with their screen time so they have something fun to look forward to
We live in a connected world and it can be hard to set ourselves and our kids apart from the digital world, but we all need to make a conscious effort as our children could be negatively impact from now and way into their future.