Being a parent in the digital era feels like you are obliged to provide your children a smartphone or any digital gadget. Technology changes how our children learn and develop. Through gadgets, they are exposed to various learning opportunities. On the other hand, overuse of technology provides negative health effects to our children.
According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children spend 8 hours a day just watching electronic screens. From 26% in 2012, children using tablets increased to 55% in 2016 (Influence Central, 2016).
As parents, you are responsible for regulating your children’s use of technology. Here are our ten ways on how to effectively manage your children’s exposure to gadgets:
Limit Screen Time
Specify the time that you allow your parents to use smartphones and other devices. It is recommended that they use technologies for about two hours daily only. A study suggests that children like the idea of having a schedule for their phone use.
Engage Children in Physical Activities
Encourage your children to play outdoors with other children. This will prevent them from obesity and will improve their social skills, very essential for their development.
Make Sure They Sleep on Time
According to research, children should sleep about 10 hours a day. Make sure that they go to bed and sleep as early as 8 in the evening. Do not allow gadgets within their reach during sleep.
Monitor Their Digital Activities
Always monitor what your children watch on TV, apps they play on their tablets, and content they access on the internet so you can avoid them from violent and sexual contents.
Let them Practice the 20-20-20 Rule
It is important that they take a break from using technologies. Let them practice the 20-20-20 rule – take a 20-second break every 20 minutes and focus on anything about 20 feet away.
Don’t Let Gadgets Do the Babysitting
Most parents now rely on smartphones to entertain their babies. However, exposing your toddlers to technologies at an early age affect their cognitive development and other areas of their health.
Use Gadgets with Good Lighting
Discourage them from using gadget at very poor lighting conditions. This will cause them computer eye syndrome or eye strains and even headaches. Make sure you enable the auto-brightness mode.
Educate them on the Consequences
As parents, it is your primary duty to educate them about the health consequences of using technologies. Let them realize that real social interaction is still healthier than just looking at their tablets.
Consider Signing a Contract
Some parents also consider signing a contract with their children. The contract specifies the time or duration the children are allowed to access their smartphones and gadgets. If you need a guide, there are several cell phone contracts available on the web.
Spend Time with Your Children
Most importantly, do not ever lose time with your children. How your children grow depends on how you raise them. Be a responsible parent to have a responsible child.