For routines that last a lifetime, time management is crucial. As families try to manage all the technology in their homes, it has become more difficult to teach time management to children. It is more difficult than ever to set (and — hey modeling healthy habits). You can do almost anything with your phone. Want to know what’s in your fridge, check the phone. You can check the phone. You can dim the lighting in your family rooms. You can do it with an app. Do you want to pass the time while waiting in line? Use social media to pass the time.
Many families are asking questions about phone access and use earlier than ever. It can be difficult to establish boundaries when kids use technology to communicate with their friends and school. You may be wondering how to balance your phone use and manage your kids’ time. While you may not want to move to an off-grid homestead, it’s important to remember that you aren’t jumping into the Metaverse.
Is there a healthy middle ground? There is a happy medium and the right tools and routines can help you get there. Let’s look at some creative ways that kids can manage their phone time and give them some tips on how to get these healthy habits in place quickly.
7 Ways To Foster a Healthy Phone Time Management For Kids
1. To encourage phone time management in children, and model healthy behavior.
It’s true, most children go through a period where their parents are not doing anything right. They are able to create their own language and friends, and have a vast knowledge of internet memes. It’s clear that children mimic adult behavior at a young age. Do you remember the first time you spoke something you didn’t want your children to hear, but they heard it and quickly made it their favorite phrase? This is an example. This is a good example.
Being healthy makes you more approachable. It might be interesting to your children that adults are guilty of overusing their phones. It’s easy to tell your kids that they don’t have to learn phone time management because they are less competent or inferior. Technology is everywhere we go, so it is important to practice good habits.
2. Start tech limits early when managing your teaching time.
Rules and boundaries established early in life can be more effective than later, and they are easier to follow. Even though your 2-year-old won’t be using a smartphone, they may still be exposed to technology and household screens from as young as six months. You’ll see at least four to five types of interactive technology if you look around your home for more than a minute.
You don’t have to wait until your children are older to start addressing phone time management. Instead, you can begin now with the screen limit. Instead of creating new rules for your children’s first phones, it will feel more like you are adjusting existing ones. You’ll have already spent time discussing these issues with your children so they will be more comfortable understanding that responsible phone usage includes proper time management.
You’ll be able to set clear boundaries and help your children manage their phone time in later years.
3. Alternative entertainment options are available.
Smartphones can be very entertaining and are always close by. This is why phone time management can be so hard for children. It was easier 40 years ago to keep technology from distracting you. If you wanted to play games such as PAC-MAN or Pong, you had to wait until the arcade opened. Many parents of younger generations remember dial-up internet and large, heavy video game consoles that took up the entire TV screen when they were played.
We didn’t know it at the time, but riding to the arcade or waiting to be able to play a game forced us to set better boundaries. These are some ways you can help your children practice time management with their phones by offering them alternative entertainment options.
- You should keep offline options available in all gathering spaces, such as board games, puzzles, and books.
- Make a list of alternatives to digital media that your children can choose from. This is an entertainment hierarchy. The options at the top don’t require permission and don’t have any limits. Options at the bottom require permission and have limitations. This is how it might look:
- Play outside.
- You can play with the toys within.
- Buy a new or used book.
- You can play board or card games.
- Enjoy a movie or a show with your family.
- You can play online games alone.
While your chart may look different depending on how you design it, the idea is easy to grasp for kids. Last reminder: The more options you have, the easier it is for your children to find something they are interested in, especially when outdoor play is not possible.
4. For a tech-free time, choose a day or time of day.
Your kids will know when you have designated tech-free times on your calendar that their phones will be put away before they begin their homework or get ready to go to bed.
There are many ways to approach technology-free times. The ideas below may help you choose the best option for your family.
- Turn off your phone after a set time or put it away.
- Avoid using your phone and put it away until a certain time each morning.
- Ask everyone to agree to take a break from their phones for one hour every day, such as during dinner.
- Everyone can choose their own hours of phone-free time. You might find that your boundaries are more flexible and personal.
No matter what age, it’s common for children to rebel against technology boundaries. They will appreciate knowing that everyone is in agreement with the plan. If parents and siblings follow the same routines, they won’t feel lonely or isolated.
5. Phone time management is more than just about following rules when teaching time management.
It might seem a bit boring to discuss phone time management with kids. That’s understandable. Is it possible to use this topic to help your children learn deeper values about self-control, limits, and healthy balance? The use of words like “limit” can give the impression we are taking away. Good time management is adding things to encourage well-roundedness.
Is there a part of your life that you can show others how to manage well? You might be able to show your children how well managing certain aspects of your own life has helped you achieve your personal goals or help others. Are you a volunteer for non-profits or a giver to the community? These are great examples of how to manage time and resources in order to live a healthy, full life.
6. To encourage behavior change, use incentives
Although incentives can be tricky, they are often effective. Incentives that encourage specific behaviors are a smart way of achieving the desired outcome. A behavior-based incentive keeps any difficult conversation about technology and phones from becoming a negotiation war. How does it work?
Let’s take reading as an example. Many reading programs offer rewards such as gift cards and prizes for children who participate. Many of these programs are online.
This teaching time management method can also be used in a clever way to get you out of the hot seat. You can have someone else decide the prizes, manage the program, or pick the best books for kids. Your children will be able to follow the instructions to receive an award once they have started the program. They will be able to put down their phones and grab something else.
7. You can use a screen time limit applies.
Apps such as Safes allow parents to manage screen time and teach kids how to manage their phones. You can control what apps, websites and the Internet your children have access to so you can be stricter about when they are supposed to be sleeping, doing homework, or just hanging out with their family.
The Safes does more than just help you limit your screen time. Parents can get a head start on any suspicious activity by using our sentiment monitoring and analysis. This includes cyberbullying, inappropriate behavior and contentment, depression, and self-harm. This behavior is spotted via text, email, as well as over 30+ social media platforms.
Parents can have more control over their children’s phones and they will be easier to access.