Is YOUR child addicted to their phone? The steps to break the cycle including 15 minutes outside for every hour of screen time. Another tip is families should use only one screen at a time, so no scrolling in front of the TV! The new book that breaks down how to get a healthy relationship with technology is called Stop Staring at Screens.
Here are just five of the ten recommend steps to take to break the addictive screen cycle.
- MODEL HEALTHY SCREEN HABITS Getting your children away from screens will be directly related to how much time they see you spend on them.
- FOCUS ON TIMES AND PLACES Complicated rules are hard to follow or easy to bend. Get right to the point: ‘No screens before they’ve eaten breakfast and are ready to go for the day.’ And ‘No screens in bedrooms overnight’.
- ESTABLISH CONSEQUENCES Going over the top will help no one. So threats of taking the phone away forever is wasted. Make it clear up front that if screen rules are broken there will be a balanced response. Go to sleep with your screen in the room=the next day after school your phone will be held by a parent until the next day.
- EXPLAIN ADDICTIVE TECH TRICKS Part of the problem is not knowing there is a problem! Explain to your kids how the software is designed to hook them in and keep them coming back for more with push notifications, unpredictable rewards, and gamification to name a few.
- KEEP CALM Shouting or using an angry tone will shut down any progress. Talk it through calmly, explaining what needs to change. Then encourage the kids to calmly explain how they feel. Who knows this calm behavior may stretch into other areas of life!