12 Oct 2017

Have You Thought About Screen Time for Yourself?

My daughter has recently started walking and as all parents know, this starts a whole new ball game. She is into everything. One moment she is in front of me playing, the next she is either about to wrestle the dog on her way out the back gate. My wife and I are certainly being kept on our toes and much less on our screens.

An interesting article that I came across in the holidays got me thinking about the amount of screen time adults spend their days on. Whilst listening to the radio in the car, I heard a discussion where each presenter researched their time spent of certain apps on a weekly cycle. One of the radio presenters was shocked that they had spent 7 and a half hours of their week looking at Instagram. You have to admit, that is a lot of time wasted looking at other people’s lives on a screen. They were amazed at the time spent and lost and even admitted to having spent a bit of that time whilst with the kids. So, the question is, do we really need to be conscious of our screen time around our children?

The simple answer here is ‘yes’. We need to make sure that the time we are spending looking at our screens is truly a device appropriate time. The article written by Sierra Filucci titled, ‘Screen-Time Limits for Parents?’ states, ‘If parents are going to be smart about our smartphones, we do need to make a few rules for ourselves – Smartphone users tend to underestimate the time they spend staring at their phones instead of their kids. It might feel like 20 seconds, but really three minutes have passed.’ Too often you see a child have an accident when someone was looking down at their screen. If we want our children to be great digital citizens, then we need to model this behaviour.

Sierra Filucci offers some great advice on how to get that balance right for yourself. She encourages:

  1. No devices during mealtimes. If a topic comes up that you would normally google, add it to a list to look up later.
  2. Leave the game-playing (Words With Friends!) until after the kids are in bed.
  3. No texting or talking on the phone while driving.
  4. Put away the phone if the kids are swimming unattended or doing anything else potentially dangerous.
  5. Designate “no-tech zones” in your home — and respect them!

Sometimes just putting one or two of these into your home routine can enhance the quality of the conversations you’ll have with your family and maybe even free up some time.

As always if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

Regards

Tony Cross
eLearning – Wyvern House and Lindfield Preparatory School

Newington

115 Cambridge Street
Stanmore NSW 2048
+61 2 0568 9333

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