Being a new parent is very exciting, however, there are plenty of nerves along the way. No matter how many books you read or podcasts you listen to, it’s hard to escape the internal pressure of being the best parent you can be. For today’s parents, few things raise more questions than screens. As interactive technology plays a greater role in our lives, it’s understandable that new parents will have questions about screens and how their children should use them.
To help dispel any confusion, and help you to make some concrete and informed decisions, here are some tips about screens that every new parent needs to know.
Screen time can be a group activity
Screens when used alone can become antisocial – despite the style of media that you may consume through them. Think about it, 4 people could sit in a room on social media, scrolling away, without saying a word to each other. However, when the whole family sits down to watch a movie together, this becomes a shared experience. If you can, try to make the use of screens a group activity.
Choose the right content
They say you are what you eat, and when it comes to screens, you are what you watch. When it comes to your little ones, if you show them the right free kid’s cartoons or let them play educational apps and games, the use of screens can become a positive experience. So long as they’re used in moderation, of course.
They shouldn’t be used as a fail-safe
The reason that so many parents use screens is that they’re effective. When your child is being loud, restless, throwing a tantrum, or simply being a handful, few things get them to calm down quite like a screen. Using screens as a fail-safe, however, is not good for you or your child. This is why recommend using them sparingly.
Set a good example
Young children are very impressionable. They pick up on everything you do from how you move to how you speak, and even how you interact with screens. If they see you constantly scrolling and spending all of your time engrossed in a screen, they will assume that this is normal and want to emulate their parents. Be mindful of how you use screens when your children are watching so they don’t learn too many bad habits.
There is no escaping technology today. The best you can do as a parent is to ensure your children have a healthy relationship with the technology around them. Keep the tips in this guide in mind and you’ll be on the right track.