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How to Stay a Digital Step Ahead of Your Kids

By Sandy Schroeder

Doing the math on online and TV time for kids continues to change. Now it is two hours of entertainment media a day with no screen time for kids under 2. But those rules will probably continue to evolve.

Harvard Health suggests these steps to use as a guide.

Monitor media use - Maintain rules just as you do for everything else. Interact with children as they use media and make changes as needed.

Keep media fun – Don’t let media be a babysitter. Instead, spend time enjoying media with your kids.

Mix media in – Add outdoor time, sports, exercise and meetings with friends. Help kids maintain a balance in physical, mental and social activities.

Watch your media use – If you are watching TV or using a laptop or phone constantly, your kids will be quick to follow.

Fix the digital slouch – If you constantly see your family hunched over laptops, phones or video games, make the effort to help everyone straighten up. Help kids learn good workplace posture when they are working on a computer. Make sure they are keeping all devices at eye level. Neck and back problems often turn up earlier with long periods of sitting and slouched posture.

Break away with your kids – Find ways on the weekends, during dinner, and after dinner to just sit and talk. Excluding electronics from the dinner table and the bedroom can make a huge difference in overall use. Kids know when you are listening, and they will enjoy being heard. Keep the communication lines open.

Identify good apps – Common Sense Media is a resource to review apps, TV shows and movies. Take the time to know what your kids are watching.

Stay up with teens online – Make sure they know nothing online is completely private and everything has risk involved. Maintain a good relationship online and off with your kids as you make sure they enjoy a mix of school, friends and sports interaction. 

Be prepared for mistakes – Kids learn as they go. TV time, video games, and social interaction online will present challenges, too. Be aware of what’s going on and take the time to ask questions and talk about problems. If bullying, depression, or excessive use shows up, find a good counselor and work through the issue.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Loveland, Tex.

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