Tech Advice over Winter break
A recent EC Parent meet-up, where we discussed Technology and Our Young Children, served as an important reminder that it takes a village to raise and educate healthy, happy, and tech-balanced children. With this in mind, we thought we would share some relevant tips that came from that meet-up, which we believe could come in handy over the winter break.
While the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends screen time and other media limitations, especially for younger children, it can be difficult to adhere to these strict guidelines. We recommend the following:
- When allowing young children screen time, make sure programming, apps, and other forms of media fit your family values;
- Because you are your child’s most important role model, consider your own use of technology. Find device-free time, such as at the dinner table;
- Keep devices with screens out of your child’s room when it’s bedtime; and
- Choose interactive, creative apps over passive device activity, and make sure apps are age-appropriate and respect privacy.
Our parents offered some additional tips:
Ideas to avoid screen time include:
- Keep kids busy in sports and afterschool activities;
- Offer to play games at home;
- Go to the park together; and
- Provide options for independent play (drawing, blocks, etc.).
Ideas to manage screen time include:
- Download what you allow your child to watch to avoid them mindlessly scrolling or clicking into unwanted territory;
- Have a timer available to let them know when screen time is over (hourglass timers were mentioned as a great resource);
- Take advantage of the settings on your wifi router to set parental controls, pause wifi, and more;
- Set parental controls on the devices your child has access to; and
- Keep devices in a central, inaccessible location.
Here are some resources to consider:
- Tech Tips for Early Childhood Parents
- Common Sense Media – a trusted source for reviews of age-appropriate programming, including movies, TV, and books. They also offer parent tips based on the age of your child.
- Securly or Bark – apps that allow parents to view and manage online activity
- Article – Worried About Your Kids’ Screen Time? Check Your Own First.
- Kids books – The Glowing Rectangle and Unplugged Ninja
Most importantly, enjoy your family time during this Holiday Break!
Lisa Hasler Waters, Director of Technology