Where, when, what and how much is okay? Technology and devices play a big part in our children’s lives. There can be pros and cons to this easy access to technology and devices.. Knowing how to support our children in learning how to navigate their life using it is our job as parents. Here are tips on how to parent with devices.
WHERE to use devices:
You are the parent and you know what is best for your child. Remember that. Limiting devices to certain areas or locations is a proactive thing to do. You decide if it is something they need in certain areas. Do they need it in their bedroom, family room, at the kitchen table, or in the car? Once you set up the expectations it is much easier for everyone. It creates good habits for children too.
WHEN To use devices:
When should they have access to their device? Do they need it before school or in the morning, at dinner, or before bed? What are your expectations? Think about how it will affect them and what the purpose is when they are using it. It will change based on the ages of your children too. For example you may want to limit the use in the morning as they are getting ready for school. Devices can be a distraction. You can always allow them to use the device after they have fully prepared for school. It is amazing how fast they can get ready when they can have a little free time on their device.
It is important to know what is being used on the device and to have systems set up so children cannot get into apps that are not appropriate for them. You as a parent will need to set that up and continue to monitor what they are using and why. There are games and apps that benefit children because they were created for that age group.
The time on social media should be limited. The word I use is balance. Children should have a balance of technology, play, and being outside. It is important as a parent to make sure there is balance for what they do throughout the day.
SOLUTIONS TO PARENTING WITH DEVICES
Tips on how to parent children with devices:
- Limit screen time: Have a certain amount of time that your child is given to use their device daily.
- Set a timer: It is helpful to both you and your child to have a visual.
- Utilize a basket: At times when technology is not an option have a specific place for the devices to be placed. Like a basket or on the counter. Usually not in your child’s room.
- Be knowledgeable on apps: Know what apps or games are on the device. Sit with your child while they are using their device so you are present both physically and socially.
- Organized: Be sure to stay organized and consistent on the use of each device. Children know how and when to push the limits.
More importantly, remember you are their role model for your child. As a parent it is up to you to put down your phone, iPad or laptop during those times when family is first. Children look at what we do as much as if not more than what we say.
If you are still struggling with where, when, what and how much device time is okay for your child, let’s talk. Sometimes it helps to have someone that will listen and has a different perspective. Parent coaching can help you with these challenges and provide support for you and ultimately your child. Learn more and schedule a coaching session today!
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