Tips for Parents and Caregivers

Here are some suggestions for keeping a healthy life-tech balance for kids:

  • Delay introducing technology / use sparingly with young children – they will learn about tech in school and can catch up quickly.

  • Monitor children’s media – make sure what they are watching is age appropriate.

  • Watch together - Small screens are not conducive to co-watching, makes for a solitary experience.  Have regular family TV times.

  • Turn off TV’s and other devices when not in use.

  • Keep bedrooms, mealtimes, and parent-child playtimes screen free.

  • Avoid exposure to devices or screens 1 hr before bedtime – brains need time to settle down.

  • Never threaten to take away tech without following through – it will be a bigger struggle next time.

  • Avoid using media as a pacifier and the only way to calm your child – they need other self-soothing techniques.  

  • Try not to always use screens as a reward or “carrot” – it adds too much value to devices and they don’t need any help…..they are already rewarding enough!

  • Don't give too many tech gifts at the holidays or for birthdays – adds more value to already exciting gadgets.  

  • Make sure parents (not the child) own tech devices – they get to earn the right to use it IF they follow your rules.

  • Develop a Family Media Use Plan for the family early on and revisit regularly -  The American Academy of Pediatrics and Healthy Children.org has an online Family Media Plan you can customize https://www.healthychildren.org/English/media/Pages/default.aspx#home.

  • Have nights where you discuss current tech topics.  Sign up for Tech Talk Tuesday emails with Dr. Delaney Ruston who created the movie "Screenagers".  She provides topic ideas and makes it easy!  

  • Create a network of friends who can support reduced screen free times for playdates.

Contact us to set up a presentation for more info and tips for caregivers!