Establishing good habits is important no matter what, whether it’s with drinking or with technology usage. With drinking it's that little screen that reminds us to drink, but how do we balance technology time and other types of time with our kids?
We teamed up with getScreen.com to understand why it is so important to balance technology, and got some useful tips for you. As we are gathering more and more data on technology usage, we realize excessive screen time is associated with many problems like poor academic performance, sleep problems, obesity, and more.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics study, 8-10 year old children spend nearly 8 hours a day on media, while teens spend more than 11 hours a day on it. Our children spend more time with media than school or sleep!
How can we balance it?
Here are some tips that can help balance technology and life in your family:
- Encourage playtime. Passive screen time shouldn't replace playing, reading, hiking, or any off-screen activity. Make unplugged playtime a daily priority, especially for young children.
- Set Limits. Kids need and expect limits set by their parents. Rules needs to be clear and relevant to your kids. Some examples are no devices during dinner; no devices at bedtime; no cellphone while doing homework.
- Create tech-free zones. Your dining area and bedroom should be tech free. Keep your family dinner technology free, as this is the time your family should socialize. Keep the computer and TV out of the kids bedroom, which will reduce temptation to use at night, and make it easy for you to monitor their use.
- Out of sight out of mind! Have a charging station for all devices at a common place around your home, and have them charge overnight. That will help with the temptation to use them when kids should be sleeping, and a bonus - all are ready with 100% battery for the next day!
- Be a role model. Don't forget to join your children in an unplugged play whenever you're able. Don’t check your phone when they talk about their day. Leading by example is the best learning tool we have as parents, use it!
- Bonus tip- Define your family’s technology rules with your children. Make sure they are aware of them. If kids understand what's expected of them and the reason behind it, they are more likely to agree and follow.
* This guest post was written by @TaliOrad, founder of Screen and also a mother of 3 children that live by those rules and are happy to share them with you!
** Image credit: Getscreen.com