Let’s face it, most of us are living in a digital world where digital devices are part of our everyday lives. The benefits of media and digital devices can be numerous. However, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for both parents and teachers to teach kids healthy, balanced concepts around use of devices, and in setting appropriate screen time limits.
Here are our top 5 easy tips for promoting healthy screen time habits for children of all ages:
- Set some limits. Technology use should have reasonable limits, just like any recreational or learning activity. And making sure there is time each day for unstructured unplugged play is vitally important for all children’s development.
- Family participation. Getting the family involved with technology will encourage more social interactions and allow for parental guidance in appropriate video games.
- Be a role model. Recognise and (if needed) limit your own tech use and be a role model to your children in this.
- Face to face – prioritise real “talk time” with your kids, face to face in your own home.
- Tech-free zones – Keep mealtimes tech free. Keep devices out of bedrooms overnight. There are plenty of easy ways to make changes to your family’s environment this way.
Remember, there is a plethora of current advice online around technology use and children’s development. If you want to find out more, the American Academy of Paediatricians is a great first stop for recent reports on digital use recommendations for children and families.