Kids & Digital Overuse: Strategies to Help Your Kids

Kids & Digital Overuse: Strategies to Help Your Kids

Kids & Digital Overuse: Strategies to Help Your Kids

It’s almost impossible to escape digital devices. Their ubiquity is vast, from smartphones to tablets, from those dime-store laptops to those high-tech, new-fangled ones.

Not only that, but they really do play a crucial role in our lives, from our education to the way we socialize. While you can’t always “plug in” and forget about it, there are strategies that can give you a head start in helping your kids navigate the all-too-important pitfalls and temptations of our digital lives.

Here are some ways that you can help your children – both at home and at school – protect their digital identities from digital overuse.

Creating productive boundaries and limits

If your kids spend too much time on social media, then you may have to create boundaries. Otherwise, they’ll become disoriented by the demands of the digital world. You may want to consider a Tech Rulebook to guide them through what’s acceptable and what’s not. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, as even this big of a task should be part of an ongoing discussion with them and their parents. Here are some other ways that you can help kids create effective boundaries and limits:

Acknowledge and acknowledge the amount of time that’s spent on the internet.

Suggest reward for setting a limit.

Make sure there’s safety measures in place.

Work with them to be mindful of the technology.

Make sure there’s downtime too.

Manage responsibilities, both at home and in the workplace.

Make sure they have supervision.

1. Communicate your expectations

Try to write out your expectations clearly, clearly and clearly. Speak in the same sentence. Be clear with them as to when and what is acceptable. The more your kids know and understand what’s expected, the more they’ll be able to make good decisions.

2. Help them understand risks

You can help your kids understand the risks associated with the digital world. You might have to discuss what happens if your child is hacked and whether they want to share pictures they might want to keep private with friends. Or, you might have to explain just how the online system works and how often things can be hacked. It’s important that your kids are made aware of what they’re up against.

3. Make sure they’re aware of their options

Encourage your kids to take control of their own online lives. Try to talk about apps that parents can take control of or make sure they only use certain social media sites.

Help them to draw up a contract that can be written out just for the purpose of deciding how they’ll use their phone or computer, and you can help them evaluate and change the terms if necessary.

4. Encourage creating personal connections

Parents may want to encourage their kids to have more than one Facebook profile, with just that one’s password being used for interaction. If they truly are cool enough to have some sort of identity, then they might want to aim to have two or three, so they can limit the impact their presence has on their classmates.

5. Create more rewarding experiences for sharing personal information

Focusing on the real people involved in your teens’ activities helps to promote a sense of self-worth and confidence. If you can encourage them to share their interests, then that creates more fun, more interesting experiences for sharing.

There’s more to learning about the digital world than just worrying about the dangers of it. Of course, we can never entirely eliminate the risk of something happening, but each time we take the time to communicate with and help our kids, it can greatly increase their comfort with technology, and with knowing their options.

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This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.

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