How to Achieve a Healthy Balance with Technology
If being a parent today has you longing for the good old days before smartphones and social media existed, you’re not alone. Technology will always offer incredibly useful tools for work, play, socializing, and more—yet too much screen time is harmful for everyone.
Failing to limit screen time for kids can have serious adverse effects on their health, especially in young children. Studies show that spending more than two hours per day on a computer or mobile device doubles their risk of obesity and can interfere with their sleep quality. Here’s how you can help your family achieve a good balance between tech life and “real life”:
Model healthy behaviors. If your kids see that you are constantly absorbed in your phone or tablet, they may feel neglected, or else learn to see this as normal, acceptable behavior. Set a good example by setting aside technology during meals, family time, bedtime, and any other time during which tech is a distraction rather than a necessity. Emphasize the importance of living a healthy life away from screens whenever possible.
Create screen time rules while kids are young. Set boundaries for how long and how often your children are allowed to spend time on their devices. This will not only help them achieve a healthy balance with technology, but make them more aware of how much time they’re spending online. Having limited use of their devices will help kids set better priorities for how to use their screen time (and for time management in general).
Help kids expand their interests beyond tech. Find out what your kids’ favorite tech-based pastimes are and encourage them to try related books, board games, or other screen-free activities. Getting them interested in books in particular will not only improve their reading skills, but give them a better sense of how books inform cultures and subcultures.
Share quality screen time as a family. Implement a family movie or computer game night so that kids don’t feel caught in a battle between their tech and their families. Doing activities like this together sparks conversation and bonding over little things, like making the perfect bowl of popcorn or choosing a favorite movie blanket or pillow. It also makes family time more enjoyable for kids and teens.
Teach Kids Healthy Tech Use With Net Positive
The mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Utah County is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens and leaders. We accomplish this by providing evidence-based programs with a focus on those that improve academic engagement, build character, and that improve healthy behaviors.
Our Net Positive Program educates K-12 students about digital safety, health, citizenship and leadership. After participating in our program, students are 97% better prepared to face internet dangers. Contact us to learn more and ask your school to schedule a Net Positive Presentation, or support us with your donation today!