Tips for balancing technology and your child’s growth

Technology is a part of our lives and a part of our children’s lives. Although it’s unrealistic to expect to eliminate all screens or tech from your child’s life, it is important that you teach your child how to interact with technology in a healthy way that doesn’t interfere with their physical and emotional growth. This needs to start as early as the preschool years. Here are some tips on how to help your child find a healthy balance with technology.

Create Limits

The problem with children and technology is a lack of limits. Children don’t often have the self-regulation required to set healthy limits for themselves, so it’s the responsibility of the parents to do this for them. Limits need to be set for both quality and quantity. There is a misconception that if the content children are consuming is innocent or educational, then the quantity of time spent with tech doesn’t matter. This isn’t the case. Children need limits for both.

Parents need to figure out how to set boundaries on content to ensure their children aren’t being exposed to inappropriate or mature content, and they also need to set limits on how much time a child is interacting with a screen. This does include time spent doing school work as well. It’s common for many schools to require students to be on screens in order to complete school tasks. This is still screen time, and parents need to be aware of how much time their child is in front of a screen. This time is different than time spent with a book, a hobby, social interactions, or physical activity.

Encourage Physical Activity

When you encourage or insist that your child be involved in physical activity for a certain amount of time each day, it will naturally cut down on the amount of screen time they are having. Children, especially young children in preschool, naturally want to be active rather than still. When given an option for fun physical activity, most children will choose the activity. Even if they don’t choose it, they will still enjoy it especially if you’re participating with them.

These are just a few steps you can take to encourage a healthy relationship with technology for your preschool children. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about 50% of three and four-year-olds are enrolled in school. Take your time to find a school that fits!

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