As a society we are consumed with technology. In many ways, this is wonderful. But when it comes to parenting and technology where do we draw the line? On one hand, technology entertains, educates, and inspires our children. On the other hand, it is associated with various mental health concerns such as poor concentration, negative self-image, and anxiety.
A good place to start is to think of technology on a spectrum with both extremes on either side: too much and too little on the other. As parents we want to find ourselves in the middle. We want to create a balance.
So here are 3 ways to manage screen time in your home.
Manage YOUR screen time
Children learn best through observation. This means, parents must model behavior to their children. Unfortunately, if you want to see a reduction in your child’s use of technology, you also have to decrease your use.
It’s one thing to carry your phone with you and another to be constantly on it. If your child sees you messaging and surfing, they will assume they can too.
Plan time for outdoors
Children are spending more time inside, which means they are spending more time watching others move and explore more than they are doing themselves. Make it a point to get outdoors.
Establish time each day to being in the fresh air. In the beginning, you may need to join your child and structure activities to do; run through the sprinkler, rake leaves, build a snowman.
As your child begins to feel more disconnected from electronics and connected to nature they won’t need as much structure.
No Tech Time
Designate some portion of the day as “no technology time” – turn off everything and engage; talk, play, create. Depending on how connected your family is you may need to start small and increase time each week.
If you need extra support on managing screen time in your home, check out our FREE screen time contract so you and your family can create a plan and get on the same page.
If you’re experiencing your child being anxious or have concerns about your child’s use of technology, reach out to us today. We can help.
Child Therapist | LPC
I help children overcome anxiety and anger, and equip parents to confidently connect & support their children.
We help anxious kids and frustrated parents. We serve Hinsdale & the Western Suburbs of Chicago.
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