Are you struggling with the amount of time your kids are spending on computer, TV, handheld games, console games, YouTube and cell phones?
Kids who spend less time on-line experience fewer incidents of on-line bullying and are generally more well-adjusted. Are you looking for ways to be pro-active against cyber-bullying? Are you wondering how to get your children to spend less time on screens?
Luckily there is a solution which is not complicated or difficult. The method I’m talking about does take time and discipline in order to be effective. Implement this system and you’ll be glad to did.
I’m talking about schedules and lists. Sit down with your kids and talk about how much time you are going to allow them to spend on screens. You may want to give them more time on the weekend so that they can carry out their regular routines throughout the week without screen activities getting in the way.
One parent I know has decided their children will not participate in screens from Monday to Friday but on the weekends they can spend as much time as they wish doing screens activities. There are times when the children express frustration about not being able to be on screens during the week, but now that they’re used to it, the schedule is working successfully.
As parents, it is difficult to be firm and stand behind what is right. That simply goes with the territory of being a parent. In my opinion, the best parents do what is right for the children. Screens can be fun and will definitely occupy children and keep them out of mischief. Don’t think of screens as a babysitter because too much screen time can have a negative effect on children.
Children need to be doing a variety of activities so they gain experience in many different areas. As they grow older, they will be well-rounded and able to make their own decisions in an informed way regarding the things they prefer to do.
Games designed for computers, consoles and handhelds usually are created to keep users intrigued so they will stay in the game as long as possible. Game designers are excellent at achieving this end result. Realize that it is not always the best thing for your child to be drawn like a magnet to their favorite game. As they get older this powerful attraction can become difficult to overlook when there are more important things to do, like homework household chores, projects and reading.
Help your children learn the value of lists. To-do lists can help kids stay on track with their home work and household chores so they will they have time to do more of the things they choose. If parents use lists effectively, children will notice and start to follow the example.
An interesting book to read about lists is called: The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right. It is written by Atul Gawande and is available on Amazon. This book is also available as an audio in case you choose to listen to it while driving or working out.
Another book you may want to read is called: Positive Discipline for Teenagers – Empower Your Teens and Yourself Through Kind and Firm Parenting. This book is written by Lynn Lott and Jane Nelsen and is also available on Amazon.
Most children thrive with schedules and structure and if you are a parent who wants the best for your children, these tools can be a positive benefit.
Please leave a comment below to share your ideas about positive structure for kids.
Bruce Langford does keynote talks for parents and teachers on respect and bullying prevention.