Children's screen time is an important thing to manage.
The internet is a powerful thing, and has become increasingly ever-present within our lives over the recent years. This is particularly so for the younger generations, who unlike most parents today, grow up with online access from childhood. There are no doubt several concerns about this, such as the amount of screen time children have, what they use the internet for, and other potential pitfalls. The internet itself however, does not have to be harmful or dangerous. Children must simply be monitored and shown how to use it safely and positively. In this article, let’s discuss some tips on how to manage your child’s screen time.
Educate on the importance of safety:
The first and perhaps most important step of how to manage your child’s screen time, is to educate on the importance of staying safe online. As much as parents want to be there to protect their own, there comes a stage when kids must become independent and take care of themselves. With this in mind, explaining to children some of the potential dangers associated with online access is key - as it gives them the ability to be aware of danger, and even deal with these issues themselves in the future. A helpful website for both parents and children is called ‘Own It’ by the BBC.
Whatever age your child may be, it can be beneficial to set a limit on their online access in general. This can involve limiting screen time itself, or even setting up parental controls to protect from harmful content. An example could be limiting screen time before bed so as not to affect their quality of sleep. There are no fixed set of boundaries a parent should abide by – this is decided case by case. However, an important point to keep in mind is that the purpose of these boundaries is to protect children while they are young. Then, slowly but progressively lift boundaries while educating them on how to make good decisions in general.
Show them positive uses of the internet:
The internet has its potential dangers, but don’t forget that it has many wonderful things to offer too! It’s a place to learn, explore and experience that which you may not have access to without it. A great idea could be to show your child how you personally use the internet positively, such as sites to learn from, interesting and informative videos, etc. Direct your child’s usage of their screens towards something positive and beneficial!
Spend time together off the internet:
In the hustle and bustle of life, sometimes parents may understandably give their child access to a screen to distract them and gain some rest themselves. While there can be nothing wrong with this at times, it’s important to set aside time to spend together doing something fun and off the internet. Parents shouldn’t expect their kids to find something to do by themselves, especially with how addicting a screen can be. Parents themselves have to be active and a part of the process.
The internet is a powerful tool, which possesses much potential harm for children. Parents must find ways to regulate their child’s usage of the internet and educate them on likely dangers. However, parents must also show their child how to use the internet positively, and as a tool for betterment and growth. We hope this article provided useful information on how to manage your child’s screen time.
ActiKid – Nourishing the next generation.
This article contains general information regarding health and well-being. This information is not intended as advice and should not be treated as such. You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to advice from medical or educational professionals.