We can’t run from technology, so we best do what we can to live well with it. Our last installation for this topic listed tips for raising healthy children in a digital age, and we’re back with 5 tips for developing healthy digital habits for your children.
5 tips for developing healthy digital habits
1. Set bedtime rules
More and more evidence suggests that having digital devices in the bedroom can affect how well we sleep. Because sleep is crucial to a child’s development, not taking control of this may do more harm to your children than you think. Establishing bedtime rules to foster healthy digital habits for the whole family. Chances are, they will follow the rules if you lead by example.
2. Discuss safety and distraction
Using a smart device takes attention away from things happening around you, and this is the same for your children. Discuss the effects of using devices on health and safety with your children so that they get their priorities right. If an elder sibling is meant to look after a younger one, they should not be distracted by the TV or their smartphone, and they need to know this.
Another thing to consider here is the danger that the content on mobile apps can present to kids when they are not monitored. Always keep tabs on the apps your children are using by being a part of their screen time every now and then. Ask them what game they are playing and is they can teach you how to play them too. Be wary of apps that promote violence or hate speech. Use a parental control app in your children’s smart devices to safeguard their well being.
3. Establish the difference between productivity and laziness
As your children grow up, they may start to rely on technology to do almost anything they can think of. The advent of smartphones has actually caused a decline in productivity over the years in developed countries. Technology seems to enhance our daily life, but the reality is that it has made us less efficient as people.
Discuss the difference between being productive and being lazy with your children and ask them what they think are healthy digital habits and what is not. You should set an example too — write your shopping list on a piece of paper instead of your notes app, limit the use of your virtual assistant when you are not working and take your children grocery shopping instead of always ordering everything through an app.
10. Nurture their human spirit
The rise of technology has seen a decline in real-world human interaction, and developing healthy digital habits has become a challenge in many societies. Focus on nurturing your children’s human spirit by suggesting that that play outside, inspiring curiosity and pushing your children to dream big. Doing more productive family activities such as reading, gardening and painting will not only encourage healthy digital habits but also help foster wholesome relationships with your children.