Technology and children: 12 + 1 rules for parents to make their children turn off their screens

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Marie-Ange Demory
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Being a parent in 2022 is truly a challenge, especially when it comes to children and their relationship with technology.



According to the Academy of American Pediatricians, it would be better for children aged 2 to 5 to watch no more than an hour a day of "quality programs". And it also sets limits for when they get older.

Read also: children and technology, how long can they stay in front of the TV?

But how to respect these limits?



The Huffington Post asked its community of parents on Facebook about the tricks that work in their family. Let's find out what they are together.

1 - We give time and set times

“Let's count down: first five minutes, then three, then one. It serves to take away the anxiety of being in the middle of something and not being able to do it anymore. We also set up parental controls and only install kid friendly apps ". - Kirsten



“We use the kitchen timer to mark the time. As soon as it plays, you have to put it all away ”- Rachelle

"The kids put a timer on their tablet and when the alarm goes off (20 minutes on weekdays, one hour on weekends) it's time to turn off" - Rinna

"We have times you can watch. It's TV time after lunch (at which point you can see a movie) and after dinner" - Katie

2 - Out of sight, out of mind

"Our TV lives in the cellar. This is my philosophy: out of sight, out of mind. TV is only allowed on weekends and only for one hour a day. There are so many other different ways to entertain yourself! Honestly , I think small children watch too much TV "- Amanda



"My children do not have access to technology: only on the TV, in the playroom. I would not trust to leave them alone with a tablet or a mobile phone in their hands. Also because they often break what they have in their hands" - Robyn

"I hide the tablets. And I tell the children to go for a bike ride" - Danielle "

3 - It must be earned

"Time in front of screens or TV? My children have to earn it: for example when they get ready in time to go to school" - Kim

"We have a table with the time they have earned in front of the screen from some chores they do written on it: five minutes for making the bed, three for taking out the trash, five for the laundry. Anyway they can use this. their bonus only after doing their homework "- Megan

"We have a system: she gains screen time for all the time she has invested in reading. She is in second class and is learning to read. For her it is really important" - Elyssa

“Our daughter earns time in front of the TV when she behaves well at home or in the nursery. I want to keep this rule even when she grows up "-Wendy

4 - Let's shift our attention to something else

"She is only three years old and she knows that if she asks and we say no, it's no. Then we recommend another activity. Hoping this system will continue to work for a long time ..." - Kerry

"During the holidays, we distract her with other activities, like playing with constructions, playing outside, etc. She is usually so busy with other things that she forgets that the tablet exists ..." - Rachelle

5 - Screens off before going to bed

"During the week, they haven't looked at screens for an hour before going to sleep. Different at the weekend" - Sarah Marie

6 - Never during the week

"We do not turn on screens during the week. Friday night is dedicated to a film to watch all together. And we also set limits on weekends" - Crystal

"They can't play video games when they have to go to school the next day. On weekends, after doing their jobs, they can relax as they want" - Pamela

7 - Only on the go

"We only use the tablet in the car when we are on a journey" - Hollis

“Okay if we watch a movie all together, but no tablets or smartphones around. Only concession? A long journey by plane "- Regan

8 - Alternative

"Audiobooks are great alternatives. We took the TV off three years ago. At first, for a good two weeks, it was tough. But it helped us to listen to audiobooks and podcasts together. Now on Friday nights and Saturday nights we watch a movie. all together on TV "- Oz

"We come up with things to do together. Walk, ride a bike, play cards, do laundry" - Kathie

9 - Let's stay out

"If it's fine outside ... we're out. I spent my whole childhood playing outside and I want to give my children the same experience" - Jennifer

"The day is beautiful and they stay at home? So I give them chores to do. It works great: they spend a lot of time outside and there is forbidden to use tablets and cell phones" - Carrie

10 - We focus on education

"My son is 7 years old and he does not know the password of the tablet. And we make him use only educational apps by setting the usage time first" - Erika

Read also:

online safety, tips for safe browsing

11 - Parental Control

"We look at the apps he uses and we have banned YouTube" - Jessica

"We finally figured out how to remove autoplay from Amazon and Netflix!" Sarah

12 - We remove it as punishment

"My 7 year old can use them as much as he wants ... only if he behaves well and does what he has to do. Otherwise we will take them away" - John

The last piece of advice ... balance and flexibility


"We have no rules. We have seen that being fair and flexible works much more. Sometimes our children can play on the tablet and it's fine with us. Others don't and we offer alternative activities. Sometimes we watch a movie in the evening all together," others we play. So they appreciate the time in front of the screen but even more what we all spend together as a family "- Amanda

Children and screens, the recommendations given by the APP, the Association of American Pediatricians

  • In children with less than 18 months, no screens except for video calls
  • Children from 18 to 24 months: parents who want to introduce their children to technology should choose quality programs. It is also necessary to be together with them during the vision to explain the images they see;
  • 2 to 5 years: 1 hour of screen per day, but only of quality programs and with a close parent to explain what they are seeing;
  • From 6 years old: impose limits and make sure your children get enough sleep, exercise and other activities essential to their health. It is also necessary to establish periods of time to spend together without technology, for example when eating or driving. And also choose areas of the house where technological means are banned (for example the bedrooms).

To learn more:

  • Social networks and web tools for minors: a handbook for parents
  • How to protect children from social networks
  • When to give a child a cell phone?
  • Teens and social networks, a handbook for parents
  • Youtuber phenomenon: who are the new idols of our children?
  • Touch-screen generation

TAG:
  • screen
  • children's television
  • children and technology
  • 3-5 children years
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