Could your addiction to technology also be impacting on your child?
A relationship survey conducted in 2018 by Brookman revealed that 75% of respondents agree that too much technology has had a negative effect on their relationships.
It has become very common to use a technological device, such as a smartphone or iPad, as an ‘e-babysitter’, but this could possibly cause health issues or a technology addiction in children so should be managed with care. Here are five top tips that you can implement in your home to help prevent your child from becoming addicted to technology, ultimately preventing your children from following in your digital footsteps!
1. Don’t Allow Technology Before Bedtime
Studies have revealed the screen brightness from technology can trick your brain into thinking it is still daytime which can interrupt your sleep pattern. As you may have experienced, most children have a period of struggling to accept it is bedtime, and having technology before bed will inevitably make the bedtime process much tougher for both you and your child. For this reason, you should not allow your children to use technology for a couple of hours before bedtime, giving them adequate time to wind down. Giving your child a bath and reading them a bedtime story can act as great alternatives to technology before bed. A technology-free evening will also help prevent establishing the norm that technology is always there and accessible if the child wants it.
2. Schedule in No-Screen Time
It is easy to fall into bad habits with screen time: assigning periods of no screen time for the whole family will prevent the amount of time you all spend on your gadgets escalating. Clear guidelines of when technology is out of bounds will significantly reduce any conflict or confusion over technology usage.
3. Hide Technology
Storing devices out of sight from your children will remove the temptation of technology. If technology is always lying about your home within easy reach, your child can easily become dependent on gadgets being there when they want. Make sure any toys and books are readily available around your house, or with you when you are out and about so your child does not automatically feel the need to play on your phone or iPad.
4. Take Your Children Outdoors
Make sure your children are getting enough fresh air: take them to a park or encourage your children to play outside in the back garden. Do not let screen time dominate. Why not have some bonding time and build a den or have a picnic in the park with your child?
5. Lead By Example!
As mentioned above, children learn how to behave from your actions, therefore you need to lead by example. If you are addicted to your phone it is highly likely your child will be too! If you take small steps to reduce your technology use such as turning your phone off during dinner times, your children will observe and begin to replicate your behaviours. Leading by example will help your child learn when it is acceptable to use technology, stopping it becoming an unhealthy obsession at an early age.
*Survey conducted by Brookman Solicitors.
This content has been checked and certified by Cyber Safe Ireland whose mission is to empower children, parents and teachers to navigate the online world in a stronger, smarter and safer way.