Electronic Playgrounds and Digital Curfews: How Parenting Is Transforming

digital curfews parental control

Pervasive internet addiction can been seen all around in our homes. It’s not just our kids that are binging on Facebook or tweeting but every other member of the family is equally guilty. The only reason I have been writing this at 4 a.m. in the morning is because I received a text (which woke me up) from my son who lives two times zones away, thanking me for the gift that I had sent to him.

I was flabbergasted that he was up so late in the night. Not to mention, my own sleep cycle was disturbed and when I couldn’t go back to sleep, I started checking the long list of Facebook notifications and shockingly, it was also full with my son’s activities.

I started wondering if all other kids have this same problem and within a few minutes of internet search, I agglomerated a few interesting researches, explaining how tweens and teens have digitally capitulated themselves. The contemporary playground is electronic, where they make friends, share stuff, fight and cyberbully each other.

I also came up with few tips on how digital curfews can solve this problem of social addiction. So I am sharing that with your guys:

Know How They Appropriate Their Day on Different Activities

First you should learn about their daily activities. Measure how much time they spent on computers and mobile phone for useful and useless stuff. I would rather go for a monitoring tool to check their smartphone usage. See what comprises a major chunk of their internet browsing— are they doing some creative work like web designing, blogging etc. or just watching movies and TV shows.

If your kid is spending more than 8 hours a day on internet, it certainly means then that they are a serious addicts. You can also check other symptoms like a reclusive behavior and preference for staying indoor rather than outdoor. Have a look at this infographic by Flowtown:

Once you know of their habits, prioritize and redistribute their time. E.g. allot a little more time on creative work and a little less on social media activities and movies.

Set Curfews and Breaks

Even if you have set guidelines for their daily routine, you may still require to set curfews on them—instead digital curfews. Set No-Gadgets zone for different areas of your homes, like dining room and TV lounge.

To prevent binge electronics use and health issues, set a limit on the consecutive number of hours that your kid can use their gadgets. Tell them to take a break; go out or do some exercise, if they have been sitting on the couch with their phones for more than 3 hours.

Be More Rigorous

Make sure that your kids are not making these unproductive activities a part of their routine or norms. Also, digital curfews should ensure that the saved time is used for productive and healthier activities.

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