Screen time is becoming down time for ourselves and our kids. I look forward to sitting on the couch (under my electric blanket of course!) and scroll through my social media platforms. And as a parent of 4 kids I totally understand their desire to unwind after school on their tablets as well. We all need time to unwind, and screen time is the perfect activity on a cold evening to do just that- tune out and plug in.
Parents from all generations have had issues to deal with. In the 1960’s- 1970’s parents had to deal with too much television time. Parenting in the 80’s? Welcome to the world of gaming plus television time and a small introduction to the computer. Parents in the 1990’s could see a huge shift in computer time- more so than the previous generation. Today’s parent deals with all of the above issues and more. A large number of kids today not only have their own television, but a computer, tablet, AND cell phone. Most parents worry about what the right amount of screen time is for their family, and what’s acceptable for their kids.
Each home dynamic is different, and every child’s needs are unique. There’re some helpful apps that assist parents in monitoring screen time, making parenting in the digital age so much easier.
Winter can seem endless, but with a little out-of-the-box thinking and some old school tips, kids don’t need to sit on the couch all day with their tablets.
- Pop some popcorn and drag out those dusty board games. These can be a great way to learn skills like counting money, doing math, and just having plain old fun.
- Crafting. Nothing says fun like glue and glitter. Look for seasonal deals at your local craft stores and stock up on some necessities. A couple of years ago I bought some plain little wooded knick knacks and my kids spent HOURS painting those things!
- Youtube workouts like Yoga. Yes I know. Its screen time, but Yoga has been shown to help concentration, balance, coordination, and self esteem. Your kids will probably sleep better too!
- Remember the license plate game or car bingo? Go for a family drive without the tablets and play a good old fashioned car game.
- Kids have been weathering the cold since the beginning of time. Bundle up those fingers and noses and let them PLAY outside. Just make sure to have the hot chocolate ready when they come inside.
Parenting is a trial and error adventure. Add technology to the mix and it makes modern parenting very confusing. Do some research and figure out what works best for your own family, because ultimately, that is whats best.
Yes, screen time is a big challenge for modern parents and for me as well. I tried many things but all in all I finished with installation of a parental control app – Kidslox (https://kidslox.com/). Now I don’t worry about the time he spends playing games or watching movies, the app automatically blocks access when the granted time runs out. I also blocked some ‘bad’ websites and in addition the automatically blocks millions of inappropriate urls. Really a good solution!
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