With the kids back in school for another year, it’s time for the grownups to set new schedules and routines for managing their family’s work and school obligations. As you’re setting intentions for a new school year, we’re here to help you create healthy tech habits for you and your kids.
Though Socket’s high-speed fiber network delivers the fastest, most reliable internet your family can enjoy, we know there is more to life than just online time!
With open communication and a bit of parental enforcement of reasonable limitations on tech use, parents should feel confident that they can build a healthy balance between screen time and other key aspects of their kids’ lives.
Tip 1: Begin With a Two-Way Conversation
Before setting boundaries for promoting healthy tech habits, have a conversation with your kids about screen time concerns and encourage them to balance other activities with device usage.
Take the time to listen to your children’s online interests and usage wants. After all, there are genuinely beneficial aspects to online activity, from communicating with their friends to learning about new ideas, people, and places, and even acquiring new skills and hobbies.
By approaching the topic as a team, you can work together to maximize their online time. This also helps build trust with your kids that this endeavor is not a punishment; rather it’s about better balancing responsibilities and other interests along with their online usage.
Tip 2: Establish Clear and Consistent Screen Time Limits
As part of that open and honest conversation, work together to establish clear, screen time boundaries. Parents and grownups may choose to set up a daily schedule consisting of periods when device usage is acceptable, while other times are strictly off limits (except, of course, for necessary tasks like homework or other learning).
Others may be more flexible; allowing only a set number of total hours spent online each day or every week. To stay on top of this, apps and certain device settings can be employed to track just how much time your kids spend online.
However, experts say it is best that any limitations on screen time be established clearly and consistently throughout each day and week.
Tip 3: Schedule Other Priorities
Besides screen time, consider scheduling other activities. At first blush these recommendations may sound too rigid and regimented, but in a tech-saturated culture, the goal is to foster a healthy balance of online and device usage with other priorities and responsibilities.
Consider blocking out a few hours each day to homework and reading time. Or schedule at least an hour of time outdoors or for physical activity. Also, consider planning regular in-person get-togethers with their friends, instead of mostly relying on their devices to socialize.
When coupled with the screen time limitations above, many grownups (and kids) find that a natural, healthy rhythm between their online lives and other obligations can emerge.
Tip 4: Consider Turning Off Notifications
Another tip is turning off all—or at least most—notifications on your children’s devices. After all, it’s the seemingly constant stream of dings from notifications that draws kids back to their devices to check text messages, social media posts, or video updates, even if you’ve managed to get them momentarily concentrating on their homework or outdoor activities.
You could also establish a timeframe around limiting notifications. For example, blocking out a two-to-three hour time period between afterschool and dinner time without notifications may help naturally reduce screen time—and perhaps even encourage actual face-to-face conversation at the dinner table!
Tip 5: Model Good Online and Screen Time Habits
Our last tip is to remember that your kids are keeping their eyes on you almost as much as you are on them! Thus, it’s important that you model responsible online usage habits yourself. The more consistently parents and grownups model a proper balance between using their devices and other activities, the more likely their kids will do the same.
With Socket high-speed fiber internet, your entire family can smoothly transition between work and play on all your household devices, no matter how you balance the time.
To see if fiber is available to your neighborhood, visit www.socket.net/fiberhood to enter your address or give us a call at 800-SOCKET-3. We wish you a great school year!