How To Limit Your Child’s Technology Use
Technology is the best! Well most of the time anyway… Kids are becoming more and more reliant on technology at younger and younger ages, but how do you as a parent stop it? After all, kids are quiet and occupied while on their devices and they can even use them for education, so it certainly has some advantages. Below are some tips to get your kids off the technology and out into the world!
Don’t Give Them The Option
The easiest way to stop your kids from using technology is to not allow them access in the first place. Not allowing them to have a cell phone is not really practical in today’s day and age, but there are all kinds of ways to limit their use of it. You can password protect tablets and other things so that the kids need to have you unlock it to use it. This wouldn’t really work on a cell phone, but is a great way to keep your children off their computers and tablets. You could also try getting them involved in more activities like sports or clubs. The less time they are sitting around at home, the less time they will spend on their devices. You should also try to limit the amount of time they spend alone especially in their room as this can hurt their social skills and make them more and more dependent on their devices. Your kids might not like some of these more black and white methods of limiting their technology access, but it will certainly be effective.
Start With You
As with anything else in life, it is important to set a good example for your children. They take after you in everything they do, so if they see you using technology all the time they will likely do the same. Lets face it, we all probably spend way too much time on our own devices. We know how addicting it can be to sit on your phone and scroll through news and social media, so try to set a certain amount of time that you are on your phone each day. There are all kinds of apps for this and it is a great way to monitor your own personal dependence on technology. If kids see you sitting on your cell phone all night, they will think it is acceptable and will be more likely to become dependent on technology.
More Extreme Measures
You can try some more extreme measures if your child’s technology dependence is more serious. You can try implementing “tech-free zones” where no one, including you, is allowed to use cell phones. This would make a lot of sense at a place like the dinner table or living room, but if your problem is serious enough you can expand from there. You could even make everyone put their devices in certain places when entering a room, like a specific drawer. It is important that you follow the same rules the kids are forced to in these rooms so they don’t feel like they are being singled out. Another great way to limit your kid’s technology dependence could be to draw up a contract that they must sign and follow. This is a great way to make sure that your kids honor their commitment to not using technology and could even be a fun exercise for them as they feel they are doing something more official.
There may not be a need to reinvent the wheel when trying to get your kids to stop using so much technology. You can try just talking to them and explaining why it is harmful and why they shouldn’t be doing it as much. This will be a hard sell to your child but is at least worth a try. You could also try a reward system like you have probably used in other situations. You can tell your child an amount of time they are allowed to be using technology and give them a simple reward if they follow that. If not, you could further limit their usage which would really make them want to follow the rules. These methods may seem like the old school way to solve a new school problem, but a lot of times they are the best way.
Technology is not always bad, but it really can become harmful if children become too dependent on it. It can hurt their social skills and physical health, so if you think you need to limit your child’s use of technology give some the methods above a try!