Everything is digital theses days, so how much time should your children have in front of a screen? Learning healthy ways to use digital assets is a critical skill to develop. It’s up to parents to provide rules regarding the Internet and other forms of media, so you manage how your child interacts with them.
Do Your Homework
You establish rules that provide structure and limits for offline activates because kids need boundaries. That same concept extends to online play, as well. Find out what your kids are doing on the Internet. What sites do they visit, who are they communicating with and what apps do they use.
Create Play Priorities
Make playtime away from a screen the first priority at an early age. Teaching your children that unplugged play is fun stretches their imagination. Your child will learn the power of creativity that doesn’t require anything digital.
Make Online Time a Family Affair
When you do allow them to go online, do it as a family. Play video games together to teach them about gaming etiquette. Introduce them to your favorites, so they can learn more about you and enjoy healthy games that you can play together as a family.
Use this time to help them master the art of digital socialization, too. Spend time sharing with family member via social media and setting boundaries for privacy. Show them by example how to be polite and kind to others online.
Use the Online World to Teach them About Communication
Two-way communication enhances their language development. Use video chat to keep in touch with friends and family that are far away. Online communication is an effective tool to help kids understand the importance of active listening, too. Get them used to using digital devices for two-way conversations instead of just sitting in front of the screen alone.
Avoid Using Media as a Babysitter
It is easy to plug in a video to pacify a fidgety child, but it creates a bad precedent. Children need to learn better ways of coping with things like boredom or impatience. If you make a screen your babysitter, you are telling your child it is okay to use video or computers instead of dealing with their emotions.
The digital world has a place in your children’s lives, but it can be a dangerous one without parental guidance. Take the time to teach your children about the world that exists outside of their screens and set guidelines for when they do go online.
Contact ReadSmart Learning today for a free reading evaluation and to learn how we can help your child with their reading development both online and offline.