This is not a war against the use of technology, it is a list of recommendations and insights about the needed balance your kid needs to have between handling electronic devices and enjoying the smell of grass of the park or sharing with other kids outside the comfort of home.
By experience, I need to share all the improvements and the impact on the wellbeing of my child when I decided to limit its screen time and proposed some outdoor activities. This not only helped my kid when socializing with others, but it also affected on the very appreciation of the precious time using the tablet or watching TV.
These are the key facts I learned from the very experience when approaching this difficult aspect for some parents who underestimate the impact of technology on their beloved kids, creatures who can get the best of these devices with the proper guidance.
How much is too much when it comes to screen time
After quite a thorough research about the subject, I decided to limit my kid’s screen time to 1 hour per day when it comes to TV programs. This limitation granted me entire access and control over any channel tuned in. Rather than seeing this as being overprotective, it helped me establish a deeper bond with my child, I could even join in during this hour.
But, let’s face the truth, the more evolved technology gets, the less TV kids actually watch. The use of smartphones, tablets or phablets is more than usual, if not obligatory these days. This is a more complex activity to handle, as kids have wider access of content they probably should not have yet. For example, YouTube is a social network commonly used by kids for countless purposes and they could find by accident some footage about adult matters without the parent’s knowledge. Therefore, I limited the use of social networks such as YouTube only in moments where I could be present, always guiding their search. I also seeked the help of control parenting applications to avoid my child to use other forbidden apps, for now. This activity lasts between 30 minutes and an hour, and the incredible time you can spend with your kid is one thing he or she will surely appreciate.
Good parenting means to also evolve at the same pace of technology, as we are not as skilled as kids with the use of these devices which totally changed development these days.
There is no better reason as a parent to limit screen time than to impart the importance of involvement with others and with earth itself. Everyone has the opportunity to view the achievements of others, and it is crucial to teach kids that they can be those individuals if they leaved their devices and came out to the world. The countless outdoor activities in which your child could spend energy and feel alive are enough reasons to consider limiting screen time.
I made this change and I can see a remarkable difference in the overall self-esteem and happiness of my child. Cutting screen time can also be a good reason to involve your child in homecare tasks. You could enjoy a great time as a family by going to the supermarket together, walking in the park, buying some clothes or some baby hair bows for your princess, if that’s your case.
Teaching the importance of living life through their eyes rather than through a screen is something they will never forget. The approach to this matter doesn’t have to be about diminishing technology, it is actually the opposite. If you show your kids to use technology with reason and consciousness, you will impact positively on their overall growth and him or her happiness will be the sign that you are a successful parent.