Setting an Electronics Limit: A Guide for Parents
Technology often proves how useful it can be to our daily lives. As a bonus, technology is great for people of all ages, both young and old. Of course, too much technology and electronics usage can also be harmful for family dynamics. That is why it is important to set an electronics limit on children. Although video games, television, and portable devices can keep children quiet, it can also prove harmful.
Without proper limitations, you are not always aware what TV shows your child is watching. You may not also be aware of any violent video games your child might be playing. Furthermore, too much time spent surfing the Internet can lead to questionable content and other such concerns for parents. It can also be hard to get a child to participate in family activities or fulfill chores if they are constantly stuck fiddling with electronics. Fortunately, there are ways to apply an electronics limit on your child.
Tips for Limit Setting
While it may seem impossible to coax your child away from electronics, it can be done. All that it takes is the willingness to make it happen and the strength to stick to necessary changes. The following are just some ways you can limit your child’s usage of electronics:
- Be a Role Model: Children often mimic the behavior of others. You cannot simply limit your child’s time with electronics if you going to then spend hours scrolling through Facebook or binge watching TV shows. Instead, make it a point to turn off your own electronics so that you can set a good example for your child.
- Establish Family Zones: It is important that you establish certain areas of your home as family zones, which means no electronics allowed. For instance, make it a point to sit down at the dinner table as a family, and do not allow any electronics during mealtimes. If you have both a living room and family room, establish one as a movie and game room and the other as a technology-free family zone.
- Create Time Blocks: Make it a point to designate certain times of the night when your children must disconnect from their electronics. In fact, make sure every member of the household disconnects from their electronics. Turn the TV off and shut the video games down. The best time is an hour or so before everyone heads off to bed.
- Spend Time Together: One of the best ways to encourage your children to pull away from their TVs, video games, cell phones, and computers is to spend time together. Propose the idea of having a family game night. Sit down to a family-friendly board game and enjoy spending time with each other without the use of electronics.
- Make Them Earn It: Encourage your children to earn their screen time by fulfilling certain chores. It is healthy for children to have chores, but many get caught up with their electronics instead. Lock down your Wi-fi connection to prevent your children from jumping on their electronics. Instead, make them earn their time by helping with dishes, dinner, or even laundry.
When you first set an electronics limit in your household, expect a lot of opposition. However, it is important that you hold your ground and ensure that everyone in your household adheres to the new rules. In doing so, you will create a family-friendly environment that allows everyone to better communicate.
Keep in mind that too much time spent on electronics can cause a breakdown in communication. It can also ruin necessary bonding times between family members. Also, children might find themselves so absorbed in electronics that their grades start failing. If you find that you are having some of these problems with your children, make an appointment to speak to a therapist. A therapist can assist you in finding other ways to apply an electronics limit on your children.
Monica Ramunda is a solution-focused online therapist with an office located in Louisville, Colorado for in-office visits. With a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology and more than 16 years experience in therapy and counseling, Monica works as both a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Registered Play Therapist (RPT) with adults and children respectively. Much of Monica’s success is based on her eclectic orientation and drawing on a wide range of different approaches and techniques all while remaining strongly grounded in the principles of Cognitive Behavioral Techniques (CBT).