Digital parenting and health is parenting while children are using digital and technology devices
Whether you are aware of it or not digital parenting health is a real thing now. Digital parenting and health is parenting while children are using digital and technology devices. It is about finding the healthy balance of digital usage and being healthy therein. It is imperative that children have a good grasp of digital health and that parents encourage them to do so. Parents should also model good behaviour and encourage their children to act responsibly on devices to avoid their children becoming addicted or reliant on devices. Many children are becoming more and more dependant on devices to keep them entertained. Everything in moderation is key to digital health.
One of the major factors is managing and supervising the amount of time that children spend online. For older children and teens parents should supervise the time their kids spend on devices and learn about the effects of ‘blue light’ that can affect the level of melatonin in the brain. Melatonin is a hormone produced in the pineal gland of the brain that is responsible for regulating sleep cycles. It is reported that too much technology usage can have terrible effects on sleep quality, energy levels and in some cases, concentration can be reduced. Therefore, it is vitally important that children or teenagers avoid using devices before bed and instead they should read.
Of course, most teenagers or older children will refute these claims, but the scientific evidence is there, and it is up to parents to teach their kids how to be responsible for their digital health. It is advised that you encourage children to use technology when needed or as a pastime in the afternoon between homework and dinner. Technology isn’t something that kids should be allowed to spend hours on nor should they wish to do so. It is imperative that children have the right balance of exercise, socialising, extracurricular activities and rest/sleep times.
You can help your child by:
- Avoid getting your younger child a phone for as long as possible - remember most kids don’t need a phone. It is just a trendy accessory.
- Have tech-free times at home and encourage moderation in online usage.
- Teach your child about health and how too much gaming/messaging or internet searching is not good for their overall long-term health.
- If you can (as a family) have ‘total tech-free days’ by banning all use for a day at a time. Use this time, instead to get out in nature, play or have family time.
- Be a good role model - If you are happily scrolling for hours on end your child will be happy doing the same too. Furthermore, if you’re are exhibiting unhealthy behaviour via devices children will follow suit and then the whole family is negatively affected as no one is talking to one another. Think about that for a second.
- Show your kids that there are other things to do instead. Have their friends over, bring them to the library and get them involved in clubs/sports.
With everything, parents must consider it is fair to say that parenting is getting increasingly difficult. As devices become commonplace there is more of a need to provide kids with digital health strategies in the same way we would for healthy eating. No wonder parents are exhausted!
Written by Emma Hayes staff writer at Family Friendly HQ.