Parents helping their kids manage technology is nothing new. While parents may lament the amount of screen time their kids devote to their devices, the truth is that, for generations, parents have been concerned about the integration and adoption of new technologies in the lives of their children. Ultimately, we live in a digital world, and the same devices that parents are worried about their kids spending too much time with also have a healthy, beneficial place in their lives. The point is not to eliminate them but to help kids use them appropriately and in moderation. A digital detox can help. Here are three tips for digitally detoxing with the whole family.
Set A Good Example
One of the best ways to help your kids use electronics appropriately is to set healthy boundaries and be sure to honor them yourself. For instance, if you don’t want your kids constantly checking their phones at the dinner table, you should not constantly check yours. If you want your kids to turn off their electronics at 8:00 pm, the best way to enforce this is by following your own rules.
Set Goals And Start Small
Both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs limited the amount of screen time their kids were allowed. If you haven’t put strict boundaries in place before, it is difficult to go from zero to 100. You can begin by setting a cut-off time for electronics usage; limiting screen time before bedtime is also a great first step. By setting goals for yourself and working your way up to an ideal amount of screen time for you and your children, you can help yourselves live happier, healthier lives.
Replace Rather Than Banishing
If you’re going to limit your kid’s screen time, then you want to participate in finding a replacement. For instance, instead of just telling your kids to put their electronics away, do something with them instead. For a full digital detox, you might go camping with them or do an entire technology-free weekend. That can also provide a great opportunity to help them learn how to read a map or teach them how to do things the old-fashioned way.
Typically, a digital detox entails extended time away from electronic devices. However, it may be difficult to detach your children as well as yourselves for very long, depending on the kind of schoolwork, hobbies, and professional responsibilities you might have. Still, making an effort to limit the amount of screen time your family has on a daily basis can help improve your quality of life and encourage stronger communication and family bonds.