It’s not unusual to see children grow alongside mobile touchscreens and gaming consoles. The opposite would be considered strange. Kids can learn and have fun for hours on end on devices as small as smartphones to ones as big as plasma TVs. Though these pieces of technology are remarkably convenient and entertaining, they can also be detrimental if left unchecked. Many things on the internet can influence and change the way your child thinks and behaves. A parent’s responsibility is to ensure that their kids’ digital consumption is holistic. Help your kids establish a healthy relationship with tech with these handy tips!
Become A Role Model for Your Children
Children are curious and observant by nature. They’re often likened to sponges that soak up everything they see and learn. One of the best ways to teach your children appropriate tech use is to practice it yourself. Use technology the way you want your kids to use technology. Children will more than likely be mimicking your behavior. Soon enough, they’ll build a habit and become accustomed to healthy digital use throughout their growing years.
Limit Your Whos, Whens, and Whats
Completely cutting your children off from technology isn’t going to help them learn how to become good digital citizens. Instead, establish clear boundaries by setting limits that allow your children to enjoy their tech without becoming too dependent on it. If you have multiple children, determine who gets to use their tech the most and who should use it the least, depending on their age. Limiting when they can use their devices can also teach them to become more efficient and productive with their time. You can set designated times within a day where they can use their tech, and you can supervise their usage by using parental control apps. You can also use these apps to restrict what your children can and cannot see, giving you the peace of mind knowing your children can safely surf the web.
Take A Break from Technology
Becoming so accustomed to or reliant on technology can damage the bond between you and your children. Show your children that they can have a blast without needing a device in hand! Take this moment to bond with your family outside of the internet. Having a dedicated no-tech zone or hour in your house can help your kids become busy with activities that aren’t tech-related. This sets a good balance between their life online and in real life. Organize family trips or weekly family activities that don’t involve using your devices. You can also turn it into a game no one wants to lose; whoever touches their phone first has to wash the dishes!
Be Firm About the Rules
Once you’ve established house rules with how tech is supposed to be used in your home, you need to be firm. You can allow a few “cheat days,” especially when your family is just starting to get into a routine, but don’t be a pushover. Your children may not follow the rules if they sense you aren’t serious. Reinforce the rules and let them know there are consequences to not following them. Let them know they can lose screen time if they don’t plan on sticking to the rules. On the other hand, you can also reward them with extra time or tech activities when they’ve shown good tech use and behavior.
Maintain Communication with Your Kids
Before anything else, you are their parent. Although you only want what’s best for them, it’s also essential to communicate with them openly. They may feel it’s unfair not to have as much freedom with their devices as they’d like. Their feelings are valid, but you must let them understand why you set such rules. It would help if you also taught them about the dangers of the internet so they don’t unknowingly fall into a trap. Communicating with your kids will help you figure out what works and what doesn’t work for your family. Remember, technology doesn’t exist to create a divide between you and your children. You can use it to become more involved with each other’s lives.
Manage Your Time and Tech with OTR Mobile
Over 40 years of telecommunications industry experience has pushed OTR to be at the forefront of technology and innovation. You have growing digital citizens on your hands. They deserve to learn about technology and the world around them with only the best and most reliable internet speeds. You can choose what’s best for your family without breaking the bank with various subscription plans that come at no extra cost and hidden charges. Help them (digitally!) conquer the world with OTR Mobile.