Technology has become an integral part of how we function as a society. Even though using technology in the form of computers, tablets, smartphones and other digital devices can be a great tool for education; but it can just as easily become an obsession which lead children to irritable and aggressive behaviour.
This article will take a look at ways in which you can manage tech time without the tantrums:
Get the Timing Right
Author of The Self-Aware Parent, Dr Fran Walfish explains that kids under the age 2 should not be exposed to screen time, preschool aged kids should only use these devices for 30 minutes per day, 40 minutes in total for kindergartners and emphasized that kids should be monitored while using these devices.
Make sure that you supervise the use of technology in the house and time these sessions so that you remain in control of the usage situation.
Curate the Content
To prevent your kids from throwing a tantrum, because they have to be tech-free for a while, curate the type of content that they are exposed to. Allow them to choose one or two games that they will enjoy per month, exposing them to too many different apps and games will make them feel like they are missing out on ‘game’ time. Choose a good variety between relaxing, educational and informative content.
Keep Things Secure
This refers to both access to the device itself, as well as the play or app stores. This way your kid will have to get permission to have screen time and won’t get obsessed with in-app purchases. Explain to them from the get-go that you won’t be spending any money on any of these games – and if it’s something that they truly want, they have to save up for it.
Having these rules in place will show them who’s in control and also limit the constant exposure and temptation.
Teach them to Share
Temper tantrums might occur when kids feel like they are entitled to something and you are preventing them from obtaining it. Change their attitude towards screen time by teaching them to share these devices with you as parents, siblings as well as friends. Buying each kid their own device will increase obsession and allow for disconnection between siblings.
Introduce Exciting Alternatives
Expose your kids to a variety of fun activities from an early age. Technology and screen time shouldn’t be the only options when they have free time. Always make sure that there are exciting alternatives available when you see your kid becoming a bit obsessed with playing games on a tablet, avoid social interaction with others or watching television for way too long.
Of course, setting an example is just as important. Never make use of tools and tech because you don’t feel like spending time for your kids. Utilize the benefits of tech and screen time and limit the negative impact where possible. Show your kids that it’s much more important to build in person connection and live in the moment than trying to beat a high score.