In this digital age, playing video games, watching Youtube, or interacting on social media is normal for a lot of kids and teens. But as parents, we need to guide them and make sure their daily activities are well-balanced. According to 66% of parents in the United States, parenting has never been easy, because of technology, not like 20 years ago. This could be a challenge for most parents, but letting your child know when to use those electronic devices and what they can or can't watch must be strictly implemented.
In a survey last 2020 conducted by Morning Consult, 70% of parents said that their kids spend at least 4 hours in front of screens. This is higher compared to the 60% of parents who said their kids used electronic devices no more than 3 hours before the pandemic. While we simply cannot forbid our kids from using these gadgets, we need to make sure they are having a healthy screen time. Here are some tips to make your kids' screen time beneficial.
Visit Educational Sites
Since your kids are fond of having screen time, why not spend it with educational sites that can help them learn. Establish an online safe environment for your child. Visit different free educational sites where your kids can have fun as well as grasp new knowledge.
Some of the best sites for younger kids are:
Starfall, Nick Jr.
Paint with Jackson
For school-aged kids, they can enjoy sites like:
TIME for kids
How Stuff Works
National Geographic Kids
The KIDZ page
Highlights for Kids
Learning Games for Kids
Shared Screen Time
Experts say that sharing screen time with your kids has benefits. You and your child will be able to build a connection while learning. They will also feel that you care about what's important for them. Watching or playing with your kids is like mini family time and helps build a strong bond. Not only that, you can talk about the fun things you learned from the show or game, real-time. Plus, you will be able to check if the video they are watching or games they are playing are age-appropriate.
A Healthy Screen Time
In this day and age, screen use is part of our daily lifestyle. As parents, we have to set limits for them using electronic devices. It is not healthy to have excessive screen time as it may cause sleep problems, obesity, neck and back pains, depression, anxiety, and be out of focus. To balance your child's activities, make sure they are getting enough good quality sleep, eating healthy, and have a mix of different activities that do not require gadgets. Physical activities like exercising, biking, playing sports, or simply playing with friends outside can make their daily routine balanced. You may also consider other activities like reading books, doing some fun art, or socializing with family and relatives. For screen time, make sure they are viewing good quality content that is good for them, and of course, right for their age.
Good For Socializing and Communication
Today's technology is a good way of communicating with family and friends especially that we can't go out much because of the Covid-19 pandemic. There are a lot of useful apps that we can use to chat or play with friends. Some kids still use apps like Zoom, or Google Meet for online classes, while others use Discord for playing video games. It is good to know who your kids are talking to online. Give them advice about not to talk to strangers, not giving personal information, and teach them how to use a strong password and protect their online account. Let them also be aware of scams and cyberbullying. Create an honest and open environment, and communicate your values. This will help them to be smarter when it comes to making decisions online.
The Internet is not only for entertainment, but it can be utilized for educational purposes. Your child can use it for homework and research, as it has a wide range of resources. You can allow your child to use it for school purposes and assist her on what sites are helpful.
Using electronic devices is normal, and we have to guide our kids to use them properly and healthily. Set rules about screen time and follow our helpful advice about co-viewing or sharing. Spending more time with your kids means a lot for them and doing activities together is the best way to connect with them.