As technology continues to advance, it’s becoming more difficult for parents to monitor their children’s screen time. Video games, social media, streaming services and an infinite number of other applications are constantly bombarding our kids with distracting notifications. Unproductive uses of screen time can have some negative effects on brain development, so it’s only natural for parents to be concerned about how their kids use their smart devices.
However, screen time isn’t all bad. There are tools, resources and even influencers that can help children develop important life skills.
Use Intelligent Smart Device Apps
Smart device applications don’t have to be uninspiring or time-wasting. In fact, we can teach our children important life skills through the right app. For example, finance apps such as Mint can assist your child in learning how to budget using their savings account. You can also download stock market simulators to help teach your child about investing and the economy. There are even allowance and chores apps that reward kids for doing their housework on time.
Inspire creativity in your child by installing apps that encourage them to draw, paint, compose music and edit photos. The possibilities with applications are endless. I encourage all parents to skim their app store to discover teaching platforms for their children.
Stream Informative Videos
While binge-watching Netflix is an easy way to entertain your children, it may not be the best use of their time. Thankfully for us parents, there are other streaming solutions we can use to both educate and entertain our children.
Documentary streaming services like this one with curated playlists of films and documentaries offer fascinating historical and scientific documentaries that can engage our children. Additionally, YouTube has hundreds of educational channels that cover any topic you can think of. If you decide to take this route, make sure to vet the content to ensure that it’s credible and appropriate.
Play the Right Video Games
Educational video games are also a great screen time activity for your children to participate in. Games give children an incentive to solve complex problems, work together as a team and even learn hard skills like coding. There are many educational electronic games your children can choose from, so make sure to do your research to see what video game(s) would be best for your child.
Consume Inspiring Media
Social media is going to be a part of most kids’ daily lives. Cat memes, funny gifs and selfies have their place on social feeds, but if used incorrectly, social media can be a huge distraction. Encourage your children to find good in the world by following publications, influencers and social feeds that inspire and uplift them.
Following scientific geniuses like Neil De Grasse Tyson can feed your kids’ curiosity about the workings of the universe. Other influencers like Cameron Haynes (an ultra-marathon runner) or Dwayne Johnson (a.k.a The Rock) can inspire them to participate in physical exercise. Additionally, intellects like Malcolm Gladwell can help children view the world from a different perspective.
If your child is mature enough, encourage them to follow news publications. Staying up to speed on the news cycle will help them be more informed citizens and can inspire meaningful conversations between child and parent.
Managing screen time is not an easy task. But, if handled properly, screen time can educate, empower and inspire your kids. Through the right videos, games, social feeds and apps—your child can be equipped with the knowledge and expertise to succeed in the future.