Its summer time. The kids are out of school and you are worried about their internet usage.
In your mind you’re thinking this means trips to the park, camping out and having them running loose through your neighborhood.
Sad but outdoor activities could be a thing of past. Kids these days spend more time in front of a screen than playing outside. They rely on electronic devices such as TVs, smartphones, tablets, and game consoles as entertainment.
The best way to encourage your tween and teen to make the most of their summer is to establish expectations and rules for summer internet usage:
Communicate with your child about your expectations for technology use: It is up to you as the parent to carefully and clearly layout the ground rules with your children, so that they understand and are involved in both the rules and the consequences. Let your kids know what to expect regarding internet and social media usage for the summer breaks. Discuss appropriate usage, both in terms of time spent online and your child’s behavior online.
Specify phone usage hours: Determine the time your teens can start using his or her cell phone. Set internet usage time, you can use Nischint parental control app to set screentime. Make sure your kids are completely turned off at night time so buzzes and beeps don’t interrupt their sleep. Also, establish ‘no tech zones’ where there is to be no Internet usage such as in their bedrooms or at the dinner table.
Plan other activities to limit the internet usage: One of the best ways to balance your child’s internet usage over summer vacation is to provide fun real world alternatives. Sign them up for a fun summer camp. Encourage regular physical activity. Register for soccer and craft classes or hang out at the lake in the afternoon. Invite your kids for an after-dinner walk or bike ride, or pull together an old-school neighborhood kickball game.
Spend time with your kids: Try to spend more time with your kids so that they will think less about screentime. Join in the fun! Play video games together. Start a Words with Friends game that can be played while you are away at work. Text them a funny story about something you saw on your commute, a link to a sports article that might interest them or reminders to take out the trash. (Sometimes it’s easier to be a virtual nag!
Consider a cell phone contract between you and your child: Cell phone “contracts” are all common these days, and they’re not a bad idea. Basically, you take all of the cell phone usage guidelines you would like to set forth and print them out in an agreement that you and your child both sign. If you need inspiration, there are several online contract that you can download and print out.
Screen the friends your kids make online: Pew Research Center reports that 57% of teens make friends with strangers online. Nowadays, it has become a trend for teens expand their social network, but it is risky. Take the time to thoroughly screen the friends your teen is making online. Use Nischint to monitor your kid’s social media usage.
Be a good role model and a smart parent: Set an example for your kid. If you’re asking your teen to spend less time in front of a screen, you should be doing the same thing. Unplug and avoid the urge to check emails and spend time on social media, especially when on vacation.Turn your phone notifications off if it’s too much of a temptation.
Internet is an useful tool. Social networking helps kids understand the world around them. They keep in touch with their friends when they’re on vacation, or alleviate feelings of isolation when they need to stay home if parents are at work. Healthy summer screentime usage guidelines for your family can bring multiple positive benefits to enhance family time. It will help you make the most of the summer break, keep you safe, and most importantly, promote meaningful time spent together.