In the digital age we’re currently living, the use of digital devices, be it for adults or children, has become a norm. Both adults and children spend a huge chunk of their time on their devices, without realizing what could be the aftermath of excess screen time on them. The results may be a bit alarming as far as children are concerned because they may be subjected to various online dangers. When parents hand over digital devices to their children, they know they are slowly entering a phase of digital parenting. While giving them a wee liberty for using the digital devices, they should also do something to limit screen time for their kids.
Kids everywhere – no matter what age group they fall into – are addicted to digital devices and can’t seem to put them away. While there definitely is a positive impact of technology on children, depending on its cause of use, parents cannot simply neglect the other online activities their children may explore with just one tap on their devices. The sudden rise of online dangers over the last few years has caused children to suffer whether it is about cyberbullying, viewing explicit content, or communicating with sexual predators.
Parents may not be able to know how much time their kids are spending on their gadgets and more importantly, what online activities they are involved in unless they intervene when something bad happens. To put a control on their use of digital devices, parents must adopt some effective ways or make use of tools that can help them limit screen time for their kids.
Though it’s important to keep your children updated with the rising trend of technology, it’s also imperative to put limits and boundaries on their screen time. Remember, in today’s screen-filled world, it may not be easy for parents to set limits on how much TV your child can see, how many video games he can play on his gaming console, or how much we can use social media on his mobile phone, laptop, or iPad. However, you can help your child limit screen time on their digital devices by adopting a few effective ways. By doing so, you will be able to set schedules for your child so they can keep a balance in whatever they do in life.
Ways to Limit Screen Time on Digital Devices
Here are some effective ways that can help parents limit their child’s screen time on digital devices. These tips will help you set limits and boundaries around your child’s use of technology and digital devices.
Set a Schedule
Setting a schedule for every task helps your kid maintain a balanced life. Parents can choose to set a specific day and time when their kids are allowed to watch a certain show or play a video game on their gadget.
For instance, when you’re getting ready in the morning, you can allow your kid to watch TV within that time. Similarly, you can allow your kid to play the video game within the time you take to prep your lunch/dinner. By setting proper time schedules, you can help your child develop consistency in their life.
Choose Binge Days
Parents can also consider choosing a specific day or a few days of the week on which TV or use of other technology is allowed for their children. They may select Thursday, Friday, or even Saturday for allowing their kids to watch TV or use digital devices. This helps especially when you have young, school-going kids who have not yet started using technology for homework or interacting with their friends on social media.
For parents who do not like the idea of allowing their kids to watch TV or use other technology during any time during the week, as it interferes with bedtime and homework, they can allow making use of them more liberally on weekend. For instance, they can allow their kids to use digital devices on Saturday and Sunday or binge watch TV or Netflix without any limitations.
Use Parental Controls
When kids start entering into the adolescent phase, they seek independence and demand for having separate digital devices, especially a smartphone. Since parents know how vital digital devices would be for their teens in this digital era, as they help with homework and social networking, they simply give in to their demand and get them the devices.
However, what they must abstain from is not keeping an eye on their online activities. Parents need to protect their teens from viewing inappropriate content on the web or from interacting with sexual predators online. To do this, they need to use parental controls that allow them to monitor their child’s online activity and see what they’re doing on their digital devices. This will help them keep an eye on their kid and keep them safe from the online dangers.
There are abundant of parental control apps and software that help parents keep a track on their kids’ online activities. Social media platforms are also putting restrictions on protecting their users’ privacy. Recently, YouTube, after being criticized for recommending disturbing videos to children, has introduced new, strict parental controls in the wake of this matter.
Promote Other Activities
In an attempt to limit screen time for your kids, parents must encourage other activities among them. It’s quite easy for kids to become dependent on technology when they’re seeking for entertainment. So parents should encourage their children to get involved in activities that do not revolve only around screens.
They can ask them to play football outside in the park or read a book. Similarly, ask them for their help in the kitchen or other house chores when needed so they can develop a sense of responsibility. This will help them divert their attention from technology so they can focus on other tasks.
Educate Kids About Dangers of Excess Screen Time
It’s important for kids to understand what the possible dangers of too much screen time could be. To make them fully understand, parents need to play an active part here. They can educate their kids about dangers of excess screen time and how adversely they can affect them emotionally as well as physically.
They must know their grades would be affected if they spend too much time on their gadgets. When kids step into their teen years, parents can take advantage of the opportunity and explain to them how violent images, films, and even video games can be harmful to them. They can also discuss potential dangers emanating from the world of social media, especially when it comes to online predators.
Apart from that, they can also tell them how mean people can sometimes take advantage of their vulnerability and cyberbully them. It’s imperative to talk about these issues with your kids in order to reduce potential online risks.