While growing up, we were accustomed to an old analogue box which rested proudly on the living room’s cabinet that only grownups were authorized to turn on and off. Today, multiple screens from laptops and mobile devices lie in almost all corners of modern-day homes. Screen time is a well known thing this day in age of parenting.
Technological advancements have brought with them radical changes that have revolutionized how we run our daily activities, including raising our children. Nowadays, children as young as two, enjoy lots of screen time via use of mobile phones and tablets.
Being a parent is not just a privilege but also a great responsibility. This includes being in control of how much time my kid spends on mobile devices and TV, and, the content he is exposed to. Monitoring the kid’s use of technology serves in two vital roles. First, it protects them from exposure to harmful content that plagues the internet and secondly, it ensures the child acquires most of the resourceful material that can help them advance in their knowledge.
To ensure that my child is accessing information which he will be able to handle, I undertake to testing the different apps and games before my child can access them. This allows me to determine whether the content is ideal for him.
SETTING UP HIS PROFILE ON IOS AND ANDROID DEVICES.
Being in control of my child’s accounts profiles allows me to set a restriction on the types of games and apps he can download and use. Where emails are concerned, I forward my child’s email to my own which keeps me in the know of his contacts and communications.
TV AND VIDEO GAMES RATINGS
Most TV channels have ratings for various content that they broadcast. Using this, I can set a restriction for extreme episodes that are unsuitable for my child. Through Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), I can determine what games I can download for kid. To help determine the content, ESRB avails a detailed explanation why a game has a certain rating.
However, I can do only so much monitoring before it borders on invasion, the point at which helping my young one become responsible is key. I initiate a conversation through which I can learn what he has picked up from TV and mobile devices.
HOW TO TALK ABOUT WHAT THEY ARE VIEWING
The most effective way I’ve realized talk to kids about their activities online is by not sounding intimidating or being too inquisitive. By asking my child to teach me of the various apps and games he is using or playing, he is readily happy to show me. In turn, I can show him on the many positive ways we can use the internet for, e.g. learn new things, talk to relatives and, complete homework. Once a child learns of the vast programs and apps that he can gain from,he will be able to exploit these internet enabled devices as educational tools.
TYPES OF APPS/PROGRAMS THAT ARE GREAT FOR LEARNING
It consists of YouTube videos with various practical courses to stimulate a child’s creative ability.
This fun game helps children practice solving common math problems.
•Human Body App
This app helps children to understand the human body system at an early age. Mapping out a schedule has helped to create a balance between fun apps and educational ones. It also ensures there is enough time for equally important physical activity for my child.
LIMITING SCREEN TIME.
To help me limit the time my son spends on the screen, I create a prerequisite that must be met before being rewarded by screen time.This may include helping with dishes or completing homework. I also allow use of mobile devices on weekend mornings which reserves afternoons for physical activities with his friends or myself. However, there are times when kids don’t understand these restrictions.At such times, they might become moody.
IDEAS TO HANDLE TEARS WHEN TABLETS ARE TAKEN AWAY
First, is to use the device as motivators or rewards for a job well done as opposed to them as bribes.
Secondly, kid’s tantrums are unavoidable. At this point, I avoid scolding him but rather explain why my action is necessary.
Thirdly, I lead by example by limiting my own screen time. This way, he can emulate me.
Screen time when used appropriately can help children to harness positive gains of technology that will help them cope with the ever-changing world.
Until Next Time,