There are many reasons why it is discouraged for children to have too much access to the internet. Since the technology is still pretty recent, it is impossible to predict the exact outcomes it might have on the social, emotional, and mental wellbeing of those who have grown up with it ever-present in their lives. Of course, adults can have difficulties with internet addiction too, but often they are better able to regulate their internet time and use it as the wonderful tool it can be.
Parenting is incredibly difficult. A screaming child can be impossible to soothe, and if you know that putting on their favourite YouTube video and passing them your phone will calm them down, then it makes sense for you to do this. However, over-reliance on technology as a method of emotional regulation can lead to unwanted effects such as decreased attention spans and the inability to be bored. Nobody likes to be bored, of course, but through boredom we discover creativity and imagination, which are essential to healthy child development. There are ways to provide entertainment to your kids without impulsively giving them unbridled internet access. Here are just a few tips to help you out.
Give Them Designated Internet Time
If your child is already accustomed to having free access to the internet whenever they want it, it can be a challenge to tell them no. Gradually reduce the amount of time they spend online by five minutes each day, or whatever pace you deem appropriate. It is unlikely that banning the internet all at once will go down well, so the incremental approach is probably easiest for everyone involved. Children aren’t the most responsible when it comes to handling delicate hardware, so if you find your laptop broken after your kid’s brief YouTube session, search for Laptop Repair London to find expert assistance.
Replace the Internet With Creative Options
At a busy restaurant with loud noises and distractions, it’s hard for a child to sit still and behave. You might be tempted to give them your phone to keep them quiet, but instead, offer them paper and crayons or a small building toy to keep their hands and minds occupied. Passive entertainment found online is rarely as fulfilling as engaging with the creative part of the brain. As mentioned already, creativity is often found after experiencing some level of boredom. When the brain has to find a way to entertain itself, it taps into the imagination.
Be Stricter With Yourself
Children learn by example. If your kid sees you on your phone, tablet, or laptop all the time, they’ll believe that it’s normal and healthy to be stuck in front of a screen all day. Adults are much better at deciding when they’ve had enough internet for one day, but children are easily hooked by the bright colours and more affected by blue light. If you can reduce your own internet use, you can help your child at the same time.