For kids growing up in today’s society, embracing technology at an early age is just part of growing up. From a young age, kids now are comfortable with touch-screen cell phones, tablet computers, laptops, and other devices used to find information, connect with other people, and have a little fun. However, too much of a good thing can lead to problems. While you will want to let your child get comfortable using technology, you may need to help them make smart decisions around how much time they spend staring at screens.
Here are some signs it might be time to cut back on your child’s tech time:
Your kids are always on their phones or computers.
One big sign that your kids need to spend less time with their technology is your child’s constant attachment to these devices. If your child only wants to play on their tablet and never wants to color a picture, read a book, or hang out with their friends, you might have a problem on your hands.
Asking them to put down their tablet turns into a fight.
Another big red flag you’ve let your kids spend too much time with their tech? They try to fight you when it’s time to turn it off by getting angry or upset. No video game should be reason enough to have a meltdown, so if you find this happening in your home, you should probably reconsider the amount of time your kids get to spend online.
Your child’s grades are slipping.
Is your straight-A student coming home with B’s and C’s on their report cards? If they’re struggling to stay on top of their work at school – or chores at home – they may be spending too much time focused on their friend’s latest social media post and not enough time on their studies. Have a conversation with your child to understand what’s going on, and if you think distraction is to blame, consider setting some rules and limitations around tech use in your home until their performance improves.
They don’t spend any time with their friends – at least not in person.
Most children are social creatures who thrive on playdates and other opportunities to spend time with their peers. If you notice your child never hangs out with friends or exclusively connects with others online, it might be time to evaluate your child’s tech use.
Sleep doesn’t come quickly.
Studies have shown using screens shortly before bedtime can negatively impact your child’s rest. Inadequate sleep can lead to a decrease in performance in school, irritability, and a lot of other undesirable factors. If your child has complained about not sleeping well or exhibits signs of poor sleep, screen time may be a factor.
If you’ve noticed any of these signs, it could be time to impose some rules around smart technology use. Of course, this list is not exhaustive. You know your child best and are the only person who can truly judge whether or not their technology use is beginning to have a negative impact on their well-being.
Hopefully, these techniques can help you if you also have a teen who needs to curb their tech time.