Children and teenagers tend to want to spend more time inside when the weather is cooler. This usually means they are stuck like glue to their phones, tablets, and laptops. The Kaiser Family Foundation found that children aged 8 through 18 spend seven and a half hours every day on entertainment media. This study was conducted nearly seven years ago. Unfortunately, this number has only gotten worse, and over half of the kids that were surveyed said that their parents had no rules about what they are allowed to watch or play.
So what can you do to limit the amount of screen time your kids have? Here are a few tips.
1. Sit down for dinner with no screens. Have everyone in the family sit down for dinner with their phones, computers, and tablets put away. This should be family time where you are all engaged with one another in conversation.
2. Know what your children are doing on their tablets, phones, and computers. Install tracking services, block unwanted phone numbers, and check on their daily communications and browsing history.
3. Remember that to the developing mind, screens can be as addicting as drugs. Be aware of the way your children react when they are denied the use of their devices.
4. Set boundaries, and enforce those rules. Give your children time limits on their phones, computers, and tablets. Make sure there is a real sense of supervision any time your children are on one of their devices.
5. Use technology to communicate with your children. One good thing about your children having access to technological devices is that they will be more available for you.
It can seem overwhelming with all of the technology in this day and age, and it can feel sometimes like your children are glued to their technological devices. This does not have to be the case though. Remember that you are the parent and you have control over your children.