Preschool and school-age children who are exposed to too much media, whether TV or mobile devices, often have difficulty in the following areas:
- Trouble sleeping or getting enough sleep
- Obesity from lack of physical activity
- Incomplete homework
- Less time spent reading
- Insufficient family time
- Information overload, which can affect good decision-making skills
- Living in a virtual world rather than the real one
It is wise to set family guidelines that protect and nurture young minds and hearts. It is so easy to value technology’s educational potential but end up overusing it for entertainment. The following suggestions might prove helpful if technology is beginning to overtake your child.
- Implement “no technology at the table” during family meal times.
- Don’t allow children to go to bed with technology. Some parents require all devices to go on the chargers overnight in a central location to keep devices from tempting children to stay up too late.
- Use “Guided Access” or other types of limited accessibility modes when handing certain devices over to young fingers.
- Let children earn their screen time by accomplishing other needed activities or chores.
- Install an app that tracks activity or even places time limits on the device.
- Talk with your children about what they are doing and learning through technology. It is not uncommon to learn something from your child through this.
- Replace technology time with other enjoyable and meaningful activities.