Nowadays, roughly every teen out there has a smartphone or tablet or both. Of course, they are Internet-enabled. For modern children, these gadgets became the primary mean of communication with the peers. Add here PCs and TV and you’ll get the number of up to 9 hours per day – that’s how much time kids spend on different types of screens. It’s probably more than many parents spend on their working places! This resulted in the real war between parents and children over screen time with the fight to limit Internet access time being one of the major battles.
Naturally, parents worry about how youngsters use their time. They often consider online games, social media, Internet messengers, and all similar activities a waste of precious time resource. Children, on the contrary, see those things as vital part of their lives. Admittedly, it is at least partly true, because interaction via the Internet lets them stay connected with friends and even helps to socialize. But you will hardly find mom or dad who would put up with their kids being literally glued to mobile phones every spare minute.
The issue of Internet overuse is closely connected to the problem of children’s online safety. Simple logic: the more time a kid spends browsing the Web, the more probability is he or she may fall victim of various online threats. Cyberbullying, inappropriate content, sexual predators, identity thieves – this list of the Internet hazards can be very long. Together, they make a substantial reason for parents to pay close attention to their kids’ online activities. This goal is easiest to achieve by utilizing monitoring and limiting software that became today arguably the best way to prevent web dangers as well as the development of Internet addiction.
Averting multiple online perils is just one of the reasons parents should limit their kids’ screen and Internet time. Spending too much online can also cause sleep and attention problems, anxiety and depression, behavior changes and even obesity. Sooner or later, it will negatively impact school performance as well. Among warning signs of pathological Internet use, there are: irritation or rage when online time is interrupted; lying about the amount of time spent on the Net; losing interest in activities that the kid enjoyed before; disobedience, etc.
If you notice these symptoms, it’s apparently time for you to take action and limit screen time along with the time your child spends online. Yet, remember: the mission will be much easier to accomplish, and the results will be much better if you manage to show your kids specific benefits they would get if they browse less.
Here are several essential tips that will help you together with your little ones reduce the time they spend surfing the Internet:
So here you have time-tested tips to help limit access to the Internet for your kids. At the same time, keep in mind that not all of screen time is bad for children. For example, video chatting with grandparents via Skype or using approved and certified learning apps (math, language, music, etc.) is not something you should restrict your kid from. Also, don’t go cold turkey and reduce Internet time gradually, first going with some smaller changes.
But above all, remember that kids learn from adults. You, as the closest grown-up, are the most prominent example for your child. Thus, if you show restraint and watch your own habits, your requests would be much more respected and followed with less opposition.
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