Andrée Seu Peterson has written a riveting technology piece for World Magazine. She states,
People all over the country are buying peace and quiet at home and elsewhere with absorbing phone and tablet apps connecting children, like so many human Matrix batteries [referring to the movie], to alternate realities. But what will be the bill for this convenience?
You don’t have to go far before you see a child or teen glued to the screen in their hands, or an adult for that matter. Maybe you see this in your own home and have even used a screen as a bargaining chip for children who won’t be reasoned with. Technology is changing our culture, but there is something we can do about it for ourselves and our children.
Here are 3 tips to help limit screen time for kids and keep their screen time safe:
1. Help Your Children Balance Face-to-Face Time with Digital Time by Modeling It for Them
Sometimes the best way to teach someone something is to show them by setting an example. Crosswalk contributor Dan Martin shares,
Equipping means that our homes become incubators for healthy learning, healthy growth, healthy correcting and healthy dialogue about the impact and influence of technology. If we want them to make good decisions when they leave the security of our homes, they need to understand why prudent tech use is so important to their spiritual and emotional well being.
He goes on to reveal,
It remains true that observational learning is the primary way our kids develop understanding and learn behavior. It also remains true that parents are the primary influence in their kids’ lives. Not peers, not media, not celebrities…parents! If we desire for our kids to use technology wisely then we must model this behavior in our own lives, in our own homes.
2. Establish Technology Free Zones and Times in Your Home
Have a device basket or box, where kids can place their devices for breaks. Then move it out of sight. For older children with their own smartphones, Crosswalk contributor Ava Pennington says,
Establish no-phone zones, including homework time, and after bedtime. Remove the phone to a central place in the house to prevent the temptation to answer a call or text when she should be doing homework or sleeping. Surveys reveal that kids will check their phones to answer texts well into the night.
3. Know What Your Children are Doing Online and Don’t be Afraid to Take Action
Set Internet filters in your home, and don’t be afraid to check your child or teen’s device. John Stonestreet, from Crosswalk’s BreakPoint Daily Commentary, reminds us the most important thing to know is “…what your kids are doing online, and to have open conversations with them about their online behavior. “ He continues,
And parents, we can and we must set clear expectations about what is and what is not allowed on mobile and gaming devices. More than that, parents should have a family Internet use policy that spells out the consequences of misuse ahead of time.
The sooner we help our children with the technology dilemma the better. Peterson concludes, “What are we doing to the generation not yet old enough to tie their shoes? If all become hooked into the Matrix, will there be [anyone] left to save the day?”
You can read Peterson's full article here at World Magazine.
Check out this Crosswalk.com video about Growing Up Social, and please share some effective ways you limit technology in your home!
Liz Kanoy is an Editor for Crosswalk.com
Publication date: July 28, 2015