Raising kids in the era of screens and technology is tricky. Stanford psychology experts have determined that one of the most important skills a child of today needs to learn is to become indistractable.
This means that kids need to be able to put down screens on their own and be in control of their own screen time. It may sound crazy but it's an important skill to self-monitor and limit personal time on a device. Before giving your child full access to a screen, it's recommended to have a calm, healthy discussion. Start by asking your child what they think is an appropriate amount of time to play on a tablet or watch TV.
Be open and understanding and go from there. Of course, as kids guide them to a good time for their age and other activities. Make sure they know they're responsible for enforcing that time and if they go over, there will be consequences. According to the Stanford psych experts, you'll be surprised at your child's ability to pick a suitable amount of time and follow through.
Most parents overlook teaching this skill. Usually, parents are in charge of their child's screen time. That can be a very strict 30 minutes a week or its available at all times with very little restrictions. We need to give them a chance to pick their own time.
This generation of children and the ones that follow will never know a world without smartphones, television streaming with thousands of options and access to millions of videos in only seconds. Being able to determine their own screen time will teach them personal responsibility and be healthier for them. It will also make you seem like less of a bad guy when you go to limit their screens. Bonus!
Children as young as five are able to comprehend this concept and are encouraged to become indistractable. Set a good example yourself by setting down your phone frequently and interacting without your screen.
Parents will wonder what the best amount of screen time is for their kid and there is no set time. All children are different. Come to an agreement and make sure your child knows how exciting it is to be in charge of themselves. That should work, right?
How do you limit screen time in your family? Let us know in the comments!