Create a Reward System
Don’t let your kids fool you that school requires them to be online 24/7 – create a reward system from chores in the form of screen-time, much like earning a few dollars back in the day by taking the trash out. They’re not only helping around the house, but they are learning valuable skills of work and reward while maintaining a healthy relationship with the digital world.
Making Tech-Free Zones
As much as age is a major factor, the maturity of your child will play a key role in how you balance how long they should be on screens. This doesn’t get easier as your child matures for, they are as distracted as they were when they were toddlers. With work sometimes coming home with us, we easily slip into the digital world that requires minimal effort. Ensure that you and your children get to spend some technology-free time together – including having tech-free areas, including at the dinner table. Without a structured approach to tech-free areas and times, the concept of balance is unobtainable. Without separating from the digital world, your children are a lot more likely to develop social anxiety and possibly depression.
The Dark Part of the Web
As important it is to tell your children not to talk to strangers, they should understand the parameters of the darker corners of the inter-web. You can’t fight off every bully in the school but ensuring awareness and understanding cyberbullying at a young age can protect your child greatly. Make sure the content and spaces they have access to is based on your approval; your judgment of security might be better.
The blue light emitted from digital screens inhibits the release of Melatonin which delays your body getting ready to sleep. Ensure that your child is away from screens at least 30 minutes before bedtime to ensure they get a healthy amount of sleep. Just before you think that the youth know more about technology then you do, just know your experiences will prevail. Moderation is the name of the game for most things in life and no other generation has been exposed to such technology, so it is essential to modulate it accordingly.