We live in a day and age where we ALL use smartphones, laptops, tablets, televisions, streaming services– all the things. The reality of technology this is it’s not going away. If anything, it will only get worse. I think we can’t just tell our kids to eliminate it all because we need it, use it and should appreciate what technology means.
Oftentimes, my kids ask for my phone and I hand it to them without thinking anything about it. But, I have started making them say “thank you” when I give it to them. We had a conversation with our kids about the technology in our home and how it is such a blessing. It’s not required to live, it’s a blessing and we should be thankful for it.
#2: Watch shows on the TV
Instead of letting one of my kids take my phone and watch Netflix by themselves. I turn it on the TV. This allows all my children to watch and it’s not isolated. I feel like when my kids are isolated with technology they become mean and all consumed. But, if they watch shows with each other– they laugh together and play together and then the show doesn’t become the center of what they are doing.
#3: Set a time limit
Everyone should set a time limit for how much time they spend on their phone. It’s not healthy to be doing anything for too long. We set an hour a day, there are days that are longer than an hour and days that are shorter. It’s all about balance. We aim for an hour because that’s what works for my kids!
#4: Offer other options
Sometimes, my kids are just bored and need ideas on what they can do. I love to offer up any and all ideas that they could do instead of playing on devices. Reading a book, jumping on the trampoline, playing with friends, finishing homework, finishing chores. There’s lots to do other than be on the phone!
#5: Be the example
When there is downtime in your day, don’t just reach for your phone. Go put it on the charger in your room and take a break. Our kids learn by example and if we are consumed by our phones all day, then they believe that’s okay behavior.
Whatever you decide, stick to it! It’s hard to transition from being on electronics all day to having kids that want to be occupied by you. But, I have found that I have happier kids, a happier home life and a better relationship with my kids when they have controlled electronic time.