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How To Manage Your Kids In The Digital Era


Children today are born where technology is an integral part of our everyday life. Whilst its benefits and uses in the development and education of children cannot be denied, too much screen time for children can be harmful. It is the responsibility of parents to guide their children in using this technology in healthy ways.

Here are 8 tips on how to limit your child's use of technology

1. Set a Limit on Gadget Use

Before your child gets their first electronic gadget, establish and advise the rules and regulations around its use and compile a schedule for them which indicates what day and at which time they are allowed to access technology. Some rules to curb screen time might be:

  • No digital devices during family meals.
  • No screen time in the car.
  • No screens allowed in bedrooms.
  • No screen use longer than 2 hours a day.

2. Designate "Tech-Free" Zones

Designate areas or portions in your home as "tech-free" zones where gadgets are not allowed. Instead, keep books, board games and craft materials on hand to encourage other activities which can be enjoyed alone or by the whole family together.

3. Family Time:

Establish a regular "no-electronic device" time and instead organise fun, pleasurable family activities where everyone is present and participates so that each can learn to share and enjoy things together as a family. One example is a daily family meal where everyone can connect and there is open communication, discussion and sharing of experiences, views and sentiments.

4. Encourage Their Interests

Keep your children busy by encouraging them in their interests such as dancing lessons, piano lessons or art classes. It is important for their development that they have social interaction with other children and hone their talents and skills through extra-mural activities.

5. Encourage Physical Activities

Encourage your children to have an active lifestyle by letting them participate in school sports or take walks or bike rides as a family. This will improve their health and well-being as well as avoid a sedentary lifestyle or an addiction to their electronic device.

6. Be Involved in Their Lives

Children will resort to using electronic gadgets if they have no-one to talk to or to share experiences with. Encourage open and happy regular communication with each of them individually. This will improve their communication skills and teach them how to express their feelings and ideas and will make them feel comfortable to seek advice, assistance and support from their parents.

7 .Establish a Sleep Time Routine

Electronic devices emit radiation and bright lights which are believed to suppress melatonin, the hormone responsible for making us sleep. Therefore it is imperative to keep your children to a regular sleep time schedule and to ensure that all gadgets are then out of reach.

8. Explain the Consequences of Too Much Screen Time

Be open about the harmful effects of too much screen time and explain the facts such as:

  • The 20-20-20 Rule: Eye doctors recommend that everyone should take a break from electronic devices every 20 minutes, focus on an object that is 20 feet away for 20 seconds to reduce eye strain.
  • Good Lighting: Use gadgets under natural lighting and adjust the brightness of their phone as poor lighting may damage their eye nerves and cause serious vision problems.

Children are automatically attracted to gadgets and whilst it may be difficult to keep them from their electronic devices, parents need to establish rules around the use of these and encourage their children to participate in other interesting, stimulating and fun activities. This will make it easier to limit their screen use.

Read our previous article here:

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