Technology is an integral part of our everyday life, so we must learn how to handle it properly. We as adults are conscious of both its positive and negative effects. However, children are not. That’s why one of our roles as parents is to guide our children to optimal technology use and screen time. Keep reading to learn more about screen time rules and how to balance technology in your preschooler’s life.
The first and most important thing is to be a good role model regarding tech use and screen time. As we cannot (and shouldn't ) altogether avoid using technology, we should promote quality screen time. An excellent way to balance technology use in every preschooler’s life is to encourage outdoor play and make rules about screen time. You can also engage your children in creative projects and promote socialising with their peers. A vital thing to remember is that you should ensure that your kids avoid screen time before bed.
Be a role model
We can’t stress enough how important it is to be a good role model in all aspects of life. Children observe what their parents do and act alike. That’s why it’s important to be practising healthy technology and screen habits. That means you should refrain from excessive use of technology and instead aim for balanced online and offline activities. You should engage in activities that promote emotional, social and physical well-being.
An excellent example of the benefits of technology is the various platforms preschools use to communicate with parents. They give you real-time insight into your child’s progress, among other things. That’s why finding your child's quality and contemporary preschool is crucial. You can search for ‘contemporary childcare near me’ and go through the options you get to choose the best one.
Promote quality screen time
As mentioned, we cannot and shouldn’t forbid using technology and screens altogether. Instead, we should strike a balance and promote quality screen time. Technology brings us so many benefits in our modern digital age that we should definitely use to our advantage. You should promote educational and interactive screen time with your children. So many reading apps are available, as well as educational and fun games. You should always opt for high-quality programs that will bring some kind of benefits. The point is that you should teach your children how to use technology correctly. Only this way will I get numerous honours in the spheres of education and career.
Encourage outdoor play
What can help you in limiting screen time is encouraging outdoor play. Children will enjoy this more than screen time - they don’t know their possibilities until you direct them. Outdoor play is also beneficial for children's development as it promotes physical and mental development. Together, you should find some activities they enjoy doing. This can be some sport, dancing classes or gymnastics. You should be there as a guide for your children. Starting early with these kinds of activities can result in huge success and teach your children valuable lessons of responsibility and enduring.
Make rules about screen time
Having strict rules about screen time is quintessential. You should constantly monitor your kids’ screen time according to standard age guidelines you can easily find online. You can use parental control options on various devices to limit screen time use. Children don’t know what is too much, so we need to set these boundaries. You can work together on creating family rules or family media plans. The rules might address issues such as where you can use technology. For example, in the living room, yes; in bedrooms, no; at the table, no. The rules can also cover when and how it is appropriate to use technology.
Engage in creative projects
One such project can be the one with the family rules mentioned in the previous paragraph. You can also engage in creative activities such as colouring, drawing, reading, and dressing up. These kinds of activities help boost creativity and imagination in children. These activities also help your child develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. For example, reading a bedtime story promotes brain development and imagination and teaches your child about language and emotions.
Additionally, it strengthens your relationship. You can buy fun and creative project kits for your children to enjoy. With them, they will forget all about technology and the internet!
Playing face-to-face with other children aids the development of essential life skills. These include learning to communicate and get along with peers, resolving conflicts and disagreements, sharing, and taking turns. Children can hardly acquire these without socialising. As a parent, you can organise playdates with children from the neighbourhood, cousins, or preschool. There are also possibilities of organised playgroups where children meet and play once a week under their parents’ supervision. Even though free play with other children seems so simple and without much point, it is crucial for the development of specific skills in young children.
Avoid screen time before bed
Children need quality and uninterrupted sleep to develop - from 10 to 13 hours a night. A habit that jeopardises that is screen time before bed. Experts suggest that bedtime should be a place for sleep and relaxation, not for gadgets and devices. Screen time right before bed affects how fast your child falls asleep. That’s why best practice says kids should avoid TV and screens at least an hour before bedtime to ensure fast falling asleep and quality downtime.
It is not easy being a parent in our modern digital age. Hopefully, these tips and tricks will help you create a healthy balance between technology and offline life.