by Leah Neiman
With summertime rapidly approaching, you may want to think about setting screen limits for your child. Whether that means TV, tablets, computers, or phones it is a good idea to set limits on all of your kids’ screen time.
While it is nice to get the silence and the break that screen time provides, too much screen time simply isn’t good for children of any age. Knowing why and how to set limits is a great way to be sure your child’s school-free time is not filled with gadgets.
HERE ARE 5 TIPS FOR SETTING SUMMERTIME SCREEN TIME RULES:
1. SET A GOOD EXAMPLE
When it comes to setting screen limits for your kids, being a good example is the best way to accomplish this goal. If your kids watch you on your phone all day or they see you binge watching 3 seasons of one show in a one week period, it’s hard for them to understand why they shouldn’t be able to do the same. You have to “walk the walk” so to speak.
2. BAN SCREENS IN THE BEDROOM
It is a good idea to ban screens of all kinds in the children’s bedrooms. It is much harder to monitor screen time when it is not happening in front of you. Plus, it’s very easy for a child to stay up late watching television, texting, or being on social media when their parents are sleeping and unable to monitor their activities.
3. SET SCREEN-FREE TIMES OF THE DAY
Set a time of day in which everyone must unplug from electronics. This can be anytime you want. Many families do this at mealtimes, others do it after a certain time of night; it’s not a one-size-fits-all concept. Whatever works for your family is what is best. In addition to cutting down on screen time, this is also a great way to build in more time talking and being together as a family.
4. MAKE SURE YOUR KIDS UNDERSTAND SCREEN TIME IS NOT ZONE OUT TIME
Don’t be tempted to use screen time as a tool for keeping the kids quiet for 30 minutes. Instead, teach your kids screen time is a time for learning and exploring. Lead them to apps, games, videos, and resources that are age appropriate. Encourage them to learn new skills so they can be content creators and not passive consumers only.
5. EDUCATE YOURSELF ON TECHNOLOGY
Kids are tech savvy. As much as we may not want to acknowledge it, they are often more tech savvy than we are. Make sure that you educate yourself on popular technology and apps so you know what to look for and how each app works. This might not help too much as far as setting screen time, but it is important nonetheless.
Do you have screen time rules in your house?
Leah Nieman has been speaking to parents and teens about technology, social media, and parenting for the past 10 years. She’s a popular speaker who offers sessions, advice, and resources so parents can raise kids with a healthy perspective of technology and social media. You can find her eBooks Connected: Apps All Parents Should Know, Quick Guide to Parental Controls for Kindle, and Connected: A Parent’s Guide to Snapchat, as well as tips on technology and social media at leahnieman.com.