In this digital era, or the age of screens, where children are “growing up digital”, it’s important to help them learn healthy digital use ideas. Parents play a vital role in teaching these skills.
Eventually, parenting in the digital era can be extremely hard, no matter your child’s age. Social media and Technology are gradually becoming part of our everyday lives, and many children today are brought up in a surrounding flanked by digital devices such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, etc.
Effective Tips For Parents in the Age of Screens
Build Healthy Relationship With Your Child
If a child uses digital devices for too long, there is more detachment from family overtime. So, this is why you must manage time to bond with your child regularly. Positive and good relationships with your child are important for children’s development.
Some tips for bonding time activities involve :
- Spend quality time with your child
- Taking your child on family trips out
- Reading a book with your child.
- Cooking or baking.
- Play together.
- Eat a meal together.
Set Clear Boundary
Set a timer when your children can use social media is also key when parenting in the digital era.
Some examples of timezones where the use of gadgets are restricted involve:
- An hour before bed.
- Weeknights before their homework complete
- Before school
- When family and friends are visiting
- During meal times
Setting these limitations will help to decrease the negative effects linked with the overuse of smart devices.
Use Parental Control Apps
Parental control apps allow you to track how much time your child spends online and limit access to certain apps, websites and monitor your child. Several different parental control apps like fenced.ai, Net Nanny, etc are available on the market.
Certain parenting technology tools such as Cold Turkey will allow you to block your child’s Facebook, Youtube, and even the whole Internet, also your child’s computer.
Become a Good Mentor
Children grasp knowledge more from what they see than what they are being taught. Parents are regarded to be the first teachers of children, so make sure that you become a good example for your children. Control your own social media use, and this is a very effective method when you want your kids to limit their family time.
Motivate On Other Activities
Today’s children mostly use social media, play online games rather than doing other extra activities. Motivate your child to go out and get involved in activities that don’t need a screen.
Playing outside, reading a book, or even going for a walk are just a few ideas.
Always make it clear to your children when they are allowed on screens, and when they are not, it will help resolve your expectations and prevent battles.
Explain to your Kid About the Risks of the Internet
Children spend most of their time online, and they are at a high chance of getting in danger. Teach your kid more about Internet risks such as cyberbullying, online fraud, data breach, etc. Also, teach them how to be safe from such kinds of online risks.
Few tips for preventing online risks are:
- Keep privacy setting on.
- Use a complex password.
- Surf safe browsing.
- Purchase from secure websites.
- Don’t use public wifi.
- Beware of an unknown person.
- Teach your children about Internet safety and social media smarts
Limit Display to Childs
Childs should have as little exposure to screens as possible, which includes television, ipads, etc. If you have older children, teach them why it is essential to limit their younger sibling’s exposure to screens. If you describe them properly, they will understand the reason and act accordingly.
Don’t Use Screens To Distract Your Children
If you use screens to distract your children, someday, it will backfire on you. Why?
Because by permitting them to use screens to calm themselves, there will come a time when they won’t be able to calm themselves without a screen. Eventually, it can affect a child’s health and development.
Treat Screen Time as a Privilege
Tell them that screen time is allowed after they complete their homework and other work. It will also be a responsibility for them.
Spend Screen Time Together
Sharing screen time with children will help to ensure that what they see is appropriate. Watch TV, play video games, use social media — use screen time together with the child to encourage social interactions, bonding, and learning. Also, keep the digital device such as laptops, computers in a common area where you can see what’s going on.
Research Online Games and Apps Before Getting Them For your Child
There are numerous apps and video games that claim to be educational, but not all are. If you are concerned about a child’s gaming, listening to professional advice can be a good idea.
Organize Plenty of Non-Screen Time into your Child’s Day
Unplanned playtime is important for building creativity, so children should have time to play with their friends away from screens every day. Family meals and bed hours are also important times to put the screens away and interact with your child.
How does screen time influence my child’s development?
Overuse of screen time may slow down a kid’s ability to observe and experience the everyday activities they need to engage with to learn and experience the world, leading to a kind of “tunnel vision,” which can be harmful to overall child’s development.
How much screen time and the digital device is good for children?
There are no fixed rules for how much screen time your child should get. But, experts have recommendations based on age to make sure that screen time won’t interfere with a child’s development.
- 0 to 18 months: Shouldn’t be getting any screen.
- 18 to 24 months: Should be limited to watch educational content.
- 2 to 5 years: Start to have recreational screen time, but should be limited
- Older than 5: Start to have screen time and should be limited so that it doesn’t affect learning, physical activity, sleep, or their mental health.
In this age of screens, parents need to be more attentive towards their child; although parenting is tough, it is also rewarding. Using the above tips, you can keep your child safe from social media risk in this digital age of screens.