Do these scenes sound familiar?
● My child prefers watching television or social media to reading
● My child constantly wants to text her friends
● My child wants to stay awake late to play video games
Because technology is seemingly everywhere, and changes constantly, it can make it very difficult for parents to set clear boundaries and stick to them. How can you hold the line when the field keeps changing?
But setting those boundaries is incredibly important. Research has shown that children who don’t have strict tech guidelines have trouble sleeping, are less likely to exercise, and more likely to be overweight, struggle in school, and spend less time with their families. So now you know that you need to set clear boundaries in order to raise healthy children, how do you do that? Here are four simple steps to make technological boundaries work.
1. Talk about why – sit your kids down and explain WHY excessive technology is detrimental to their success. Be open and honest about your reasoning.
2. Benefits of technology – you also want to really acknowledge why electronics are good. The last thing that you want to seem is anti-technology. Mobile phones keep us in touch. The internet can fill us with information. Music, movies, and games are a wonderful release.
3. Don’t make it impossible – the key here is not to eliminate electronics completely, but rather to create a situation in which they can be used appropriately and in a way that’s conducive to your child’s success. Leave space for your kids to have their electronics
and empower them with control.
4. Make boundaries clear – a solid strategy is to get screens out of bedrooms. Get computers, video games, and even phones into communal spaces so that when interactions with those technologies do happen, you can monitor their usage. Charging stations should be kept in those same communal spaces.