In today's world, children are exposed to vast amounts of technology. An estimated 75% of teenagers own a cell phone, and, not surprisingly, social media sites are their favorite places to visit. In fact, one study showed that 22% of teenagers log onto their favorite social media sites more than 10 times a day. Consider these tips to keep your child engaged in activities other than technology.
1. Parents should first set an example by monitoring their own technology use and putting technology away when they interact with their children. Children need parents who are physically, emotionally and mentally available to them so a solid parent-child relationship bond can be formed.
2. Establish phone-free zones and times throughout the day. These could include during mealtimes, homework, family activities or right before bed since technology can be especially distracting during these times. Some parents even have children turn in their technology during these activities so they can focus or interact without interruptions.
3. Parents can limit technology use and encourage physical exercise and social activities that do not involve technology. There are numerous apps parents can use to monitor children's technology time and limit its use. With time limitations on some apps, children can learn to regulate their own use if they know how much time they have. Parents can also require that all forms of technology be turned in at night.
4. Encourage some technology use. Our children's worlds will continue to be filled with various types of technology, which isn't necessarily a negative thing. Parents can find ways to connect with their children through technology or join them in ways that show they are interested in and aware of their children's technology use.
Children are exposed to many forms of technology each day. Parents can take a leading
role in setting an example and helping them develop healthy technology habits, starting
when they are young. Parents should monitor children's devices, know the passcodes
for each device and let their children know they will review what is being said or
done on the devices. Parents can also make sure the privacy settings on the Internet
and Facebook are set to appropriate levels. Technology should be a privilege that
is earned and respected. It is best to discuss rules, expectations and consequences
and be open about what your children should do when they see images or visit websites
that are not appropriate.
By: David Schramm, Utah State University Extension assistant professor and family life specialist, email@example.com, 435-797-8183
Ask an Expert: Spring Clean Your Life - Less Is More
Spring is a time of re-birth, baby animals, green grass, flowers and budding trees. It is a season of renewal. Historically, spring was the time homemakers cleaned the winter coal soot off the wall coverings and fixtures of their homes.Read More
Ask an Expert: Eight Tips for Freezing Produce
Fruits and vegetables are abundant this time of year, and now is a great time to preserve the harvest. One preservation method that is sometimes overlooked is freezing.Read More
Ask an Expert - Six Tips for Portable Emergency Food Storage
Winter weather can regularly create emergency situations such as massive power outages, dangerous road conditions or flooding across the nation.Read More