Are you worried about getting your kids an electronic device this Christmas because you fear they will spend the entire holidays glued to the screen?
As the holiday season draws near, the dilemma of whether to buy technology for your child, or not becomes more difficult. On the one hand you wish to please your children’s wishes but on the other hand you are worried that this will induce passivity and they will glue themselves to the screen for the entire duration of the holidays.
The festive season is often associated with family time. Children are off school, parents are on shutdown, or annual leave, either way this creates a perfect opportunity to maximize family quality time, that, of course, you don’t wish to be hijacked by the device that you have just bought for them.
Here are a few tips to balance the amount of time that your children spend using technology and spending that well deserved family quality time.
Set an example.
We sometimes find it extremely challenging to take a technological break. Whilst we continually nag our children to stop playing on their gaming consoles, or tablets, we too find it challenging to ignore that phone call, or that important work email and even more, Facebook. As parents we are looked upon as role models. Children will often mimic our gestures, the way we speak and anything that we do. Set an example and take a technological break over the holidays you will notice that your child will be more responsive to your interaction.
Spend time together.
Make the most of the Christmas holidays by doing things with them, both indoors and outdoors. Offer equally motivating alternatives such as board games, film nights or cooking together during the rainy days, and picnics or hikes when the weather is fine- these are the memories they’ll treasure forever.
Agree on boundaries and set rules.
Come to an agreement with your kids as to how much time they should spend on their devices. It is recommended that a child should not spend more than twenty minutes at a stretch using screen-time. Keep an open dialogue with your child and explain your concern. Setting rules will help them to balance the amount of technology that they are using. Make use of the in-built parental controls. This will help you to enforce the boundaries that you have discussed with your child.
Make the most of the Christmas holidays to spend time with your kids. Communicate with them and dedicate time to using the devices together. This will allow you to monitor what they do. Then disconnect together by putting those devices aside and focusing on family time.
‘Yes, kids love technology, but they also love Legos, scented markers, handstands, books, and mud puddles. It’s all about balance.’ – K.G.