Hi Parents! I started out writing this article to talk about setting limits around screen time with your child. When I sat down and started browsing through the articles online, I realized that before we control our toddler’s access to technology, we need to control our own. Recent studies report that children feel their parents are using too much screen time and that they don’t feel like their parents are paying enough attention to them. Yikes! This blog post is in no way intended to shame any parent out there. There are a lot of things we can get done on our phones, our days are busy, and the notifications never stop. Also, overusing technology may be a way to cope with anxiety and depression. It’s definitely worth examining our habits to see why we might be using something in excess. So, what can parents do? Here are a few ways to get started:
- Always greet your child, whether in the morning before school or when they come home, phone down and out of your hand, with a hug, a kiss, and an I love you!
- Find 15-30 minutes each day for play with toys or reading books. Playing with playdough, dolls, cars, or blowing bubbles are all great ways to connect to each other and disconnect from tech. Chase each other around the park or build a tent. This website from TRUCE has some great ideas on how to get started in play!
- Keep your bedrooms device free. At the end of the day, when it’s time to kiss your children goodnight, first leave the phones in the living room to recharge, tell them goodnight, and then take your children to their bedrooms. End the evening with time spent face to face.
By giving your child some one on one time, you will boost their language and thinking skills. Technology might be taking over the world but it will never make your job as a parent irrelevant!
Subscribe below to receive updates on new blogs. Watch for my next post where I discuss how to manage your child’s phone use and what activities you can use that won’t just keep them busy but will keep them learning!