Take a look at your own device use first before you point fingers at junior’s addiction to screens.

We’re all guilty of being glued to our devices. You may tell yourself it’s just a quick e-mail check at the dinner table, or just a quick peek at Facebook just before bed.

You may tell yourself that it’s a short snap for the gram, no big deal because who cares, right? Well, junior cares, and learns.

Technology is here to stay and for many of us, it’s almost as essential as food and oxygen. After all, we not only need our digital devices for work and entertainment, it’s a great help. But what happens when we don’t limit our device use?

As children are fast learners, they may rationalise prolonged screen time as an acceptable way of life if your child sees you constantly staring at the screen. Herein lies the problem.

Many parents think they can control their children’s screen time without controlling our own, and this isn’t reasonable. According to research done in the United States, 56 per cent of parents admitted to using their devices while driving, and half their adolescent children notice this. 

Indeed, we don’t want our children to text and drive, so why do we do? This points to a larger issue our children’s screen addiction may reflect our own. As it’s the little things that count, look at your own habits if you want to manage your child’s obsession with the screen.

Follow these ways to manage your own screen time, so that junior will follow suit.

If you want your child to follow the rules, make sure you do so, too. Set some device-free time for two hours or even three every day…be sure to lock up those phones in a safe spot and participate in activities with your little one.

1. Create device-free periods

Rules rule. If you want your child to follow the rules, make sure you do so, too. Set some device-free time for two hours or even three every day. It can even be done over dinner. However long you want to set, be sure to lock up those phones in a safe spot and participate in activities with your little one.

Not only does this limit your child’s screen time, you’ll also get the chance to bond as a family. The plano app allows you to schedule device-free periods for your child to ensure that they don’t spend long periods of time on their phone.

2. Use your devices together

Set aside a specific amount of time for device use to manage both yours and your child’s screen-time. During this period, you can both use your devices for anything. This way, your child knows they aren’t the only one who has limited device use.

At the same time, seize this chance to discuss with your child as to what they are interested in on the Internet, so that you can educate them about good and bad Internet content.

3. The earlier you start, the better

Don’t delay making these changes as parents should walk the talk and limit their screen-time use before managing their kids’. Establish these device schedules for your child while they are still young and make sure to follow them, so that they will grow up with good device habits.

The plano app will prompt your child to take eye breaks and observe device-free periods, so that they will practise good device habits daily. If they do so, they can also earn points which can be redeemed for plano shop items that encourage device-free activities.

This article, written by Ng Yue Ning, first appeared on Plano.

Photo: iStock

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