Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

How To Control Our Children's Computer Time


In this world of ever-increasing access and use of technology, many parents are finding that they have difficulty keeping their children away from the computer screen. While computers are useful tools for doing homework and other projects, it is also very easy to become distracted and to waste hours surfing the web or playing games on a computer. Below are some simple tips that will help you monitor your child's time spent on the computer and keep them active outdoors and with the family.

1. Talk with Your Children

One of the most effective ways to prevent kids from spending too much time on a computer is to let them know about your concerns. Remind them that it is important to remain physically active throughout the day in order to stay fit and healthy. Also, by talking with your children about their excessive computer usage, you will be able to connect with them and show them that you care about their health.

2. Find Fun Outdoor Family Activities

Spending time as a family is integral to any healthy family relationship, and one way to enjoy spending time together is to find outdoor activities in which the whole family can participate. Whether this activity is sports-related, such as tennis or volleyball, or taking a hike or walking the dog, these activities can engage your children and get them away from the computer while spending quality time outdoors.

3. Limit the Length of Time Children Use the Computer

Set guidelines for your children in relation to how much time they can spend on the computer throughout the day. This is a good option for younger children, or for children who spend more time instant messaging or playing games. Older children should still be able to access the computer to conduct research or to write papers or complete other school-related projects. However, by limiting the amount of time that children can spend playing games or chatting online, you can make sure they are spending time getting exercise and spending time with their family.

4. Regulate the Types of Computer Activities Your Children Can Access

Most computer software programs come with applications that allow parents to control which sites their children can access. By limiting access to chat and game sites, you will be able to ensure that your children use the computer only for productive purposes, such as homework or research. You can also use parental controls to restrict access to sites that children should not be visiting.

5. Set Aside Family Time

Many families nowadays actually spend very little time together, even during meal times. One way you can spend more time with your family is to designate certain times throughout the day or week for family time. During family time, computer access should be restricted, and parents should be able to spend quality time with their children. This could be during meal times or other times during the day where family comes first. This will help children spend less time in front of a computer screen and more time enjoying the company of their family.

6. Place the Computer in a Central Location

The children who often spend the most time on the computer are the ones who have computer access in their rooms. It is very easy for children to lock themselves in their rooms and spend the rest of the day playing games or talking with friends online. By placing the computer in the living room or some other central location, kids will have to share the computer. As a result, they will be more likely to spend less time online and less time surfing the web for long periods of time. By following these simple steps, you will quickly find that your children spend less time on the computer and more time outside or interacting with others. These tips will help you to regulate the amount of time your child spends on the computer and will help them stay fit and healthy.  

Today's guest post has been compiled by James who is a full-time writer and a reviewer at Cartridge Save, which is a leading online retailer of inkjet cartridges in Great Britain.

Image Citation: Ernste Vikne



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