4 Ways to Manage Kids Screen Time and their Online Safety

Technology can either be a blessing or a curse. A blessing when your kids use their tablets or smartphones in moderation or a curse when they overindulge in their usage. According to a survey, older children and teenagers are on a daily basis spending many hours on screen time. This, of course, can negatively impact a child’s development and even expose them to dangers online.

Hence, it is important now more than ever before to teach our kids healthy habits while limiting their screen time. If there is a need for you to manage your children screen time, here are 4 practical suggestions:

  1. Set a good example

Practice what you preach. Naturally, kids tend to imitate their parents’ behavior. So there is no point trying to limit their screen time when you are always seen glued to the TV or your mobile device. So if you decide that bedtime should be screen-free, make sure to set a good example worthy of emulation.  You can sincerely commend and reward them when they stick to the agreement about screen time.

  1. Talk to your child about technology

Like we said in the beginning, technology can either be a blessing or a cure based on how it is used. Too much screen time can be unhealthy for kids, as it could expose them to an online sexual predator or even cyberbullies. This could also mean that they deprive themselves sufficient time during the day to engage in productive and meaningful activities like playing or communicating with their friends and family members face to face or even studying. Too much use of screen time can also deprive them of good sleep, thus, leaving them little or no energy for other activities.

 Of course, when used in moderation, screen time can bring a lot of benefits. Hence the need for parents to sit their children down and educate them about the good and bad sides of screen time. While doing this, never forget to show them how to stay safe online. Encourage them to approach without fear should they see anything inappropriate.

Well, it is not just enough to talk to them about the time spent on the gadget. You can set screen time limit.

  1. Establish screen time limits

Admittedly, screen time can become very addictive. But without suitable time limits, you can lose control over their use of their gadgets. What can you do then? Set a “no screen time during meals or before bedtime” rule. This can pave the way for meaningful conversations during meal times. As a matter of fact, this can help your children to better appreciate and know how to effectively conversate with people in the real world, not just on the internet alone.

What is more, if your kids stop using their smartphones or watching TV at least 1 hour before bedtime, this can help them sleep better at night.  However, no screen time does not have to be boring. The family can do something creative and interesting, sing, dance, listen to some good music or even tell stories. Once screen time limits are established, make sure they stick to them consistently.

  1. Set parental controls

Apart from establishing a screen time curfew, you can go an extra mile to keep your child safe online by setting parental controls to filter or limit their exposure the harmful content that could potentially pop up on their computer screen. What is more, you can also have a shared computer stationed in communal areas and also set up different accounts for your children using different controls.

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