As screen time is part of every millennial’s everyday life, it’s no surprise that kids of millennial parents are exposed early to gadgets and the Internet. While it’s true that unregulated and unsupervised screen time is harmful to children, it can’t also be denied that purposeful screen time for kids offers some benefits.
Whether we like it or not, technology now plays a vital part in our life. Unlike generations from decades ago, kids nowadays will certainly need to use gadgets and the Internet at some point. Especially now that the new norm requires online education, kids will be more exposed to screen time. So instead of totally prohibiting your child from having screen time, allow your child to use screen time with a purpose.
Aim to reap the benefits of screen time
Regulated screen time should work to your child’s advantage, not to his detriment. Observe your child. If you see only negative changes in your child, maybe it’s time to modify his screen time usage and activities. Your child has to learn or develop skills through his online activities. Here are some examples that can tell you that your child is benefitting from screen time:
- The child uses his creativity in creating things online.
- The child acquires new information from what he watches online.
- The child is able to apply in real life the skills that he learned online.
- The child communicates well with friends and family members through video calls.
- The child develops confidence while sharing his talents online.
- The child becomes tech-savvy.
Choose high-quality content and material that will allow your child to be active mentally or physically
To make sure that your child will benefit from screen time, choose contents that will facilitate active screen time. Active screen time allows the children to actively participate physically or mentally. It means that through screen time, the kids use their creativity or analytical skills. They can also engage well with the people around them.
Thus, you have to make sure that your child’s screen time is devoted to active screen time activities such as video chat with family members, playing educational and interactive games, using Arts and crafts apps, drawing on the screen, learning from an online dance class, and watching educational videos.
Make a screen time agreement with your child
Setting out your rules and expectations regarding screen time for kids can make a huge difference. There should be clear rules and limitations. Discuss with your child why you are allowing screen time, but let him know the regulations. Your screen time agreement may include device curfews and timers, “digital citizenship” agreements, and tech-free zones (e.g. bedrooms and dining rooms), and tech-free hours (e.g. weekdays or during meal times). Likewise, talk to your child about safety concerns regarding Internet usage, and be open that you’ll be monitoring his usage for his own good.
Set an Example
As a parent, you should also limit your screen time because your children learn by observing you. Make sure to go easy on yourself in modifying your behaviors and in improving your child’s habits.
As technology and gadgets are part of modern living, teach your child how to use screen time wisely. Make it work to your child’s advantage by setting clear and healthy limits and being truly involved in guiding your child in screen time usage.
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