Why do parents need to be concerned about how much technology their kids are exposed?
The potential effects that technology can have on kids are stress, anxiety, agitation and depression. If kids use too much technology they disengage socially, which can lead to anxiety and depression. After a certain period of time, kids become agitated enough that they become anxious to use the device a lot and that factors into the stress when they no longer have it. The child feels like they need it all the time.
What’s the maximum amount of time kids should spend using technology daily?
No reason for kids to be in front of a screen for more than two hours a day. Kids feel like they are missing out on something important or they want to increase their skill in a particular activity or game. You want to make sure that there is enough time for them to do other things, to connect with people, to read or to study. You don’t want that screen time to become their entire life.
What can parents do to balance tech time and quality family time?
1. Set Limits - Effectively that means being very clear as to how much time is to be used for a certain device and where you can use it. Set a place and time where these devices can be used.
2. Modeling by example - If you’re asking your child to put their phone down they are less likely to listen to you when you are holding your phone, checking your e-mail or staring at a computer playing words with friends.
3. Plan tech free activities - Have no phones at dinner. Conversation is so much better when you have no distractions. This is very good for kids. Looking at screens constantly is very stressful for both them and you.