Anything in excess is bad for you and that’s the reason why diets were developed. Since “digital consumerism” is at an all-time high, anyone who owns a smart device devote half of their waking hours online. According to an audience report published by Nielsen: Radio and TV still reach most adults while new technologies such as smartphones can reach a bigger audience. In fact, spending too much time with your smart device could increase your obesity risk. Since most children are also exposed to new technologies, their also at risk of living an unhealthy lifestyle.
Inactivity isn’t just the main concern for today’s children. Excessive exposure to different media platforms could lead to shorter attention spans, eating and sleeping disorders, and difficulty interacting with peers. Given these risky behaviors, it’s time to give your kids a healthy media diet. Below are some tips on teaching your children how to balance their online and real-world activities.
Set an example
Children emulate what adults do, especially their parents. Your “media diet” will also dictate your child’s digital diet. Start by setting an example when your child is around. Don’t use your smartphone while having a family meal. When spending time with your kids, set your device aside and focus on them. Avoid texting or calling while driving. Park your vehicle properly before answering your phone. Remember to always walk the walk and avoid talking the talk.
Establish a “gadget-free” zone at home
One of the basic principles of effective cyber parenting is to establish a “gadget-free” zone. It means limiting the use of smart devices in a specific place at home. Set rules when and where your children can check Facebook or play mobile games. They should also either turn off or surrender their gadgets before going to bed. Including these in your family’s set of rules will teach them media discipline as they grow up.
Provide them with age-appropriate media
Online safety is part of a healthy media diet and provides your child with age-appropriate media helps them develop healthier digital habits. Search online for the latest kid-friendly mobile app reviews, television shows or movies which your child would enjoy. Age-appropriate media shouldn’t be boring; it should be nourishing and entertaining.
Teach them to find a balance between their real life and social media life
There is a time for everything and finding the right balance is key to a healthier life. Teaching your kids to find the balance between talking to someone face-to-face and to a friend halfway across the globe is necessary. Let them choose how they want to spend their time online and offline. Offer them advice and be their guide on how to manage their media diets. This is the best way for you to share your values and create a strong bond with your kids.
Digital media is an integral part of our children’s daily diet. Fostering positive media use and minimizing potential health risks are the goals of a healthy media diet. Let MomSecure become your partner in helping your children find high-quality media to digest. Check out our services by clicking here.