Technology has become an essential part of everyone's lives. Smartphones, computers, and tablets help people complete their daily tasks with ease. However, in some cases, they've also proven to take over. Children are the most vulnerable and susceptible to these devices. That's why in this article we share some useful tips to get kids off their phones.
Be an example
By putting your phone away and limiting its daily use, you're setting an example in your household. Your kids will understand there is a time and place to use electronic devices, and will quickly realize there are other ways to play in the house.
Encourage face-to-face conversations
In relation to the tip shared above, an easy way to get kids off their electronic devices is by encouraging face-to-face conversations. Whether you're in the kitchen, living room, or any other room in the house, turn off your devices and enjoy a conversation with your family.
You can talk about how their days went in school, or go over a recent book they've read. The topics of conversation are limitless, but the goal is always to develop a healthy relationship with your kids where communication flows naturally.
Charge the phones in your room
If you allow any electronic devices in your children's bedrooms to charge overnight, they will jump at the slightest chance to grab them to play their favorite apps.
To encourage a better night's sleep, there shouldn't be any screens in the kids' bedrooms. If they have a tablet they frequently use to watch their favorite shows, be sure to set a time limit and put them away before bedtime.
Try to charge these devices during the daytime, while everyone is busy at school, work, or running errands. This way, when you arrive home, all devices will be charged and you won’t have to leave them in your kids’ room overnight.
Create a schedule
Just as there is a time assigned to kids to do homework, to take a bath, to eat dinner, and to watch television, it's important to incorporate a limit on the use of electronic devices into your children's daily schedule.
How many hours should your children spend playing with electronic devices? Thirty minutes? An hour? Depending on their age, the time limit will vary. However, if your kids are between the ages of two and five, it is recommended to keep it to under an hour. This CNN article shares further details on the ideal time limits for various age ranges.
What happens if you catch one of your kids extending their permitted time to the use of electronic devices? What if they sneak into your room and grab your phone or tablet?
Just like you would do with other aspects of parenting, you need to establish consequences for the misuse of electronic devices.
You should also monitor the type of content they consume on a daily basis. These days, most tablets and smartphones include parental control apps and services. Take advantage of these add-ons to encourage healthy use of electronic devices in your household.
Like everything else, establishing a healthy habit when using electronic devices takes time and patience—and kids will test the limits you set. However, once you find a strategy that works for every member of your family, you will soon reap the benefits of limiting the use of these tools.