Finding and maintaining a healthy cyberbalance is a challenge in a connected culture where virtually we can go anywhere, see anyone, and do anything at the touch of a screen. Technology does not have to distract us. Device settings, reminders and apps can help us enhance our relationships, improve our health and wellbeing, and be more productive.
Three Steps to Take as a Parent
Step 1. Be aware of how you use your time and how long you are using technology. Consider using technology to help you do this; for example, there are various apps you can download that track the amount of time you spend on your phone each day.
Step 2. Reflect on your own behavior and consider your goals and priorities. Let your children see you working on balance in your own life.
Step 3. Devise a personal device plan that focuses your time and energy on your priority tasks and goals. Consider setting an example for having a no-screen zone in your own bedroom.
Top Ten Digital Parenting Hacks
- Overcome hesitation or uncertainty and engage in digital parenting.
- Monitor and be aware of the amount of time spent with digital devices.
- Turn off screens at least one hour before bedtime.
- Charge mobile devices away from the bedroom to prevent interruptions in sleep.
- Enjoy media-free meals where the emphasis is focused on building strong family relationships.
- Encourage your child to develop the habit of completing important tasks like homework or exercise, before engaging in social media, mobile device conversations, or games.
- Address obsessive and addictive behaviors, for example, checking your phone without knowing why or having an express purpose.
- Identify a list of device-free activities your child enjoys. Brainstorm with them new activities or interests they might pursue.
- Foster healthy face-to-face relationships, and help them learn how to manage strong emotions when using devices.
- Provide a varied diet of experiences in order to support overall social, emotional, and physical well-being.
Learn more about how to strike a healthy balance online by downloading iKeepSafe’s free Cyberbalance resources here.