Parents often struggle to find a balance between allowing their child to develop digital literacy skills and maintaining a healthy relationship with the use of technology. This is particularly difficult as technology and education are increasingly becoming intertwined.
Young children today have access to a variety of different forms of technology such as gaming consoles, smart devices and wearable devices. As a result, children are being exposed to an increasing amount of screen time. While it’s valuable to encourage children to develop their digital literacy skills and healthy habits around the use of technology, it is important that we regulate young children’s screen time to appropriate measures. In deciding what is appropriate, we can take into account age, maturity and the needs of the child.
In determining a suitable amount of daily exposure to technology, here are our seven strategies for limiting your child’s screen time:
1. Plan family agreements around how and when electronic devices are used
Set a time to make agreements around the use of technology. This is a terrific opportunity for everyone in the family to be involved in the process and be held accountable to the agreements. You might also like to tailor agreements to suit the ages of the children in your family.
2. Take an interest in how your child uses electronic devices
Life is busy, but it is important that you be aware of what your child is accessing online, and how he or she is using electronic devices. This will develop your awareness of your child’s behaviours regarding the use of technology.
3. Suggest alternative activities
Stimulate your child by offering a variety of different activities – painting, cooking, or building lego for example. These activities could be planned with your child and showcased somewhere in the house.
4. Keep digital devices outside of our child's bedroom
Ensure that digital devices and televisions are located in family spaces. This will allow you to monitor your child’s use of technology.
5. Regularly change your family's wifi password
If you find that it is a daily challenge to regulate your child's use of technology, you might like to consider regularly changing the household family wifi password.
6. Set a good example
Attempt to limit your own use of technology and know when it is appropriate to put down your device. Lead by example! You could trial a family screen-free day and if it works for you, make it a regular part of your week.
7. As an adult you decide what is appropriate
Ultimately as the adult in the family you need to ensure that you set clear expectations around the use of technology. It is the role of the adult to demonstrate healthy behaviours around the use of technology.
Trinity Grammar School supports staff and students from Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12 to harness innovative technologies that enhance teaching and learning. Our focus on digital fluency exposes students to authentic learning tasks and equips them with the digital skill set required for life beyond Trinity.
For over a century Trinity has inspired boys to discover their potential, passions and purpose in life. To find out more about our eLearning programme and to discover the Trinity difference, download our Prospectus.