Screen Time Clinic

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Don't Procrastinate! Easy First Steps Towards Healthy Tech Habits

Being a proactive parent becomes much more difficult the older your children become no matter how sweet and innocent they start out. Nobody enjoys being “the bad guy” and constantly enforcing the rules. The fact is, it’s much easier to let things be and procrastinate making change or implement new ways of doing things. As much as kids don’t like change, parent’s don’t relish the idea of more work either. These simple but effective steps will help you, as the parent, make change, that will lead to healthy tech habits for your kids.

  1. Activate Screen Time measuring and family sharing on iPads, iPhones, and Mac computers!  Even if you don’t set up the limiting controls, you would be amazed how many parents don’t even do this and really have no idea how much time their kids spend on their phones! Knowledge is power but only part of the solution.
  2. Invest in parental support tech! It can take a little time to set up but it’s worth the extra support and is an investment in your kid’s safety and digital reputation.  Wifi routers with parental control systems like Gryphon and apps like provide valuable insight without constantly pestering the kids. The CDC makes an important point along with 1-2 hours of recommended screen time, kids engage in less risky behavior overall when they think they are being monitored by parents. It’s a good thing and it’s necessary.
  3. Teach your kids to ask for permission to use their phones or tech at home just the same as they would ask to go somewhere in person or see a friend.  This works better when you start it young, but remember there is no such thing as phone privacy for teens. Everything they post or say is being monitored online and it should be by you too before inappropriate behavior becomes habitually recorded.
  4. Insist kids place phones in the family room at the same time every night. This helps limit endless evening screen time and reestablishes bedtime (it’s amazing how quick kids choose to go to sleep when they don’t have their tech!).
  5. Use Screen Time controls to set reasonable limits. Even simple ones like downtime during school and at night help combat the addictive nature of apps.  If kids don’t comply and are resistant to limits and changes, completely take smart phones away and replace with flip phones or home phones. 

Habits are hard to change. But an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Rather than just worrying about your child’s current tech overuse habits or thinking your perfectly sweet elementary grade school children won’t be exposed to porn, predators, and online bullying– take these easy proactive parenting steps to reduce exposure and monitor for safety.

Protect young minds and teach digital wellbeing by being proactive in your own ways– even a little bit helps. The habits you set now will shape their tech relationships for a very long time. It’s worth the pain of changing your own household habits to help guide building their own. For more information on the simple steps that are best for your family’s solution, contact us for a free consultation. Just as a gym buddy helps you stay accountable with your fitness goals, we can help you reach your tech wellness goals for your family and keep your kids safe online.

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