Digital media delivers groceries, smiling faces, and even classroom lessons. Managing your child’s world now includes managing their online content. When your child has difficulty managing their digital activities, the following tips will help prevent a meltdown.
As in any area of parenting, the first thing you need to do is stay calm. You need to model the concerned and reasonable citizen you want your child to become one day. When they refuse to stop playing Star Wars Battlefront II, you need to keep the battlefront far from your living room.
Since digital devices and content are used for many everyday activities such as shopping or learning, it can be challenging for your child to determine that playing with a game or app is a want rather than a need. You need to set them up for success with firm time and content limits.
For time management, consider teaching them how to manage their time with a firm alarm. School health officials or parents may wish to install software that blocks unwanted content or automatic purchases for optimal content management.
Count to Three
Counting to three can help remind your child to wrap up their digital activity. For example, you can say, “Your timer has alarmed. I’m going to count to three. If you haven’t paused your game by the time I count to three, you will lose your half-hour of game time before bed this evening.”
Counting to three is only as effective as the consequences you’re prepared to enforce. Some practical consequences include time-out, loss of gaming privileges, and suspended online meetings with friends. Consider what is essential to your child and selectively limit their access to their favorite people, places, or things.
Digital management can be very challenging to learn. You must frequently praise your child’s efforts. Be prepared to celebrate your child’s achievements with pizza night, a movie, or any other motivating experience.
Knowing more about how to help your child manage their digital content and device time can help them make the best use of their time. Instituting a carefully planned digital management program can reduce meltdowns while maximizing home and school health.
Disclaimer: The information posted on this page is for educational purposes only. If you need medical advice or help with a diagnosis, contact your medical professional.