One factor influencing our children’s use of screen time is our own behaviour. Grown ups need to model good screen time use.
Yes this is REALLY hard, but your kids will learn how to use screens well and wisely by following your lead.
Try limiting your use of screens when with your family to a maximum of two hours per day (Kaneshiro, 2013) and spend the rest of the time engaging with your loved ones and the real world.
The following questions can help you establish guidelines for screen use within your own household:
- is it a reward or an expected part of the day?
- is time scheduled for it and do children, and adults, have time limits?
- are games and activities known and monitored for appropriateness?
- is screen use balanced with other activities and family time?
- are access to devices and screen time controlled by the grown ups in the house?
- are appropriate transitions being used when screen time should end
Remember that a child will model their behaviour more on what you do than what you say:
- monitor yourself for your behaviour whilst gaming and act appropriately
- be aware of how you use social media and digital tools for work during family time
- if there are family rules in place for everyone’s digital use, make sure you follow them too