Who doesn’t have a tablet or a smartphone at home? Or a desktop or laptop connected to the Internet? Chances are, most of us are connected or have access to the World Wide Web, so it’s not a surprise that kids are picking up their parent’s screen-time habits. (So, be a good role model, Moms and Dads!)
Thing is, children have fun and enjoy watching TV and playing on the tablet, or researching about a topic online and even chatting with friends--and they can be tough negotiators. However, it’s the parents' responsibility to stay firm and not give in when kids throw a fit or haggle for five more minutes.
Luckily, they are not alone. Disney Junior partnered with Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization that helps families make smart media choices by offering age-based reviews, unbiased information, and trusted advice. They came up with six tech and media rules for kids.
1. Ask before you tap, click, or touch.
2. Talk about your favorite shows, movies, and games.
3. Mealtime isn’t screen time.
4. Screens and sleep don’t mix.
5. Tell your parents about online friends.
6. “Catch" mom and dad breaking the rules.
You can find a detailed explanation where you and your child can discuss each rule here. These basically sum up and simplify the American Acedemy of Pediatrics' new guidelines so kids could easily understand why their parents set limits to both TV and Internet time.
If those aren't enough, these videos from Disney Junior’s new show Miles from Tomorrowland is here to the rescue. Here’s one for the young kids ages two to four:
A few more things that could help you enforce a healthy real-life and screen-time balance for your kids: Do let them share devices, or at least, don't buy the young one his own iPad yet. Do also provide your kids other options for entertainment, such as books, sports, or outdoor activities. Remind them that real time is still better than face time with freinds. Lastly, always be available to your kids when they have questions, and use those opportunites to guide them and teach your kids proper use of gadgets and the Internet.
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October 10, 2015. “Internet Safety Rules That Will Actually Get Through To Your Kids” (babble.com) “Be Inspired to be Tech Smart” (disneyjunior.com)