Parents are always concerned about how much time their kids are spending in front of a screen, in that it can potentially harm their health.
According to MarketWatch, children ages 8-12 are spending almost 5 hours a day in front of a screen, while teenagers spend almost 8 hours in front of their computers or smartphones on a daily basis.
MarketWatch touches upon the harm it can potentially bring, referencing the study by the University of Montreal in Canada that found that these kids are more prone to-
The study also finds the general negative impact on brain development in these children because they spend so much time with technology instead of interacting with an outside world.
For you, as a parent, the natural solution to this problem is limiting and monitoring your child’s time with technology. But while you might have more authority over your 8-year-old, you might not be as successful with your teenager.
That’s where you need a smart approach with monitoring your child’s time with technology. Here are a few of our suggestions to help you to it effectively.
1. Have a Talk First
You might fear this discussion with your child, we understand. But without establishing trust and accountability, you won’t be able to successfully manage and monitor your child’s time with technology.
Here’s how you can structure your conversation:
2. Create a Screen Time Schedule
Based on the agreement you’ve achieved, you can now work on the screen time schedule together.
There are three schedule formats you can use:
To make them understand you better, you can use technology to your advantage. There is a very good video by Tech Insider with the science-backed facts about the effect of spending too much time in front of a screen:
There are also plenty of news reports that you can find online to use as a conversation-starter.
3. Enable Privacy Settings
Now that we covered the ways how to limit your child’s time with technology, let’s discuss the problem of monitoring and protecting your child online.
Unfortunately, there is hardly any protection for your child on the internet if you don’t take the necessary measures. So, here’s what you can do:
The Federal Trade Commission advises parents to reiterate the following points:
You can visit the FTC’s website for more information about protecting your child online.
4. Use Tech Monitoring Solutions
Instead of being against technology altogether, you can use it to your advantage and monitor your child’s activity with smart tools.
Today, there are plenty of such solutions on the market, but you need to make sure that you choose the one that allows you full control. Maria Grant, a researcher at SupremeDissertations, says: “We studied 50+ popular monitoring solutions for parents, and only 3% of them offered proper monitoring tools and privacy protection.”
So, what should you be looking for in a tech monitoring solution?
With the tech solution, like ours, you don’t have to spend time blocking every unfavourable website, as you can set content preferences right away and let your child use technology while you can rest assured that they and their privacy is well-protected.
Do You Practice What You Preach?
In this article, we talked about your child’s obligations when it comes to limiting time with technology.
However, you, as a parent, are also responsible for helping them commit to that by setting an example.
So, you can take advantage of all the tips we shared with you, but make sure you practice what you preach. After all, it’s trust between you and your child that ensures they will commit to spending less time in front of the screen.
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