The digital age is here to stay, but do our children spend too much time online?
Whether it’s their mobile phone, playing on the latest games console or portable devices such as tablets and iPads, the majority of children have adapted to being a click or finger press away from the digital world.
What should be considered by any parent is the amount of time that they spend on such devices and how to best limit them, here are a few tips that you can use to reduce the amount of time and combat addictions.
When it comes to meal times, this should be ‘digital free’ and a time where the family can interact together, discuss their day and bond. Banning digital devices from the table is key, and this should go for the parents too, even to the point of turning off mobile phones to spend family time together.
Where possible allocate one day of the week where there are no consoles, iPads or tablets, rather use this time to watch a film together, read a book, get homework done or even play a few board games.
It is a known fact that staring at a screen can cause insomnia, sleep disorders and other symptoms that can cause the inability to sleep. By restricting the use of digital devices an hour before bedtime allows the brain to settle down and is a good way of encouraging a good nights rest. As an alternative consider reading a bed time book, or simply relaxing and chatting as a family.
Have set limits of when and where your child can use their digital devices, most manufacturers offer a way of restricting screen time, such as Microsoft where you can set the days and times as well as limits on how much your children can spend on their devices. There are also a range of third party apps that allow you to do the same, as well as monitor their online safety.
By encouraging and reducing the time your children spend on digital devices is the best way of laying a foundation for a more healthier lifestyle as well as instilling key communication skills with others that does not require the use of a keyboard or headset. We are living in a digital world, but we are also are part of a real world, let’s not forget that.
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