Those days where kids would simply rush to their homes after school are gone, forever. Now, kids have different plans and most of them usually involve friends and staying away from home, be it an after-school extra-curricular activity or just a hang out for a cup of coffee. Kids have been spending enormous amount of time outdoor. This itself is very appalling, but when you couple it with the fact that they are away from home while their smartphones are with them sounds even more threatening. And why shouldn’t it be?
Once the school bell rings, Kids should either go home and work on improving their grades or should they participate any sports to stay healthy. Anything that nurtures their brain or body is fine, but this isn’t what kids are doing these days. They prefer hanging out with their friends and uploading photos and videos on the social media—this is their life.
Therefore, it’s necessary that parents take steps to work out an after-school digital etiquette guide that will ensure that their kids aren’t always wrapped with their smartphones. Parents should realize that their kids’ after-school time isn’t wasted on surfing internet or watching TV shows.
Tell them to check-in with you
The first of the many things that you should do when your child is away would be to check on them where they have been. If you are in office during that time, you could tell them to check in with you whether they are taking the bus, or a ride home from school. Tell them to daily call you once they reach home or any other place they are going to. This is a simple way to keep tabs on your kids’ after-school location. You also need to make it clear to them that they can’t go anywhere else than home with your permission. Once you have successfully set this perimeter, your kids will be less interested in going out on random trips.
Homework comes first
Try not to let your kids go out without checking into home. When your kids will come straight to home from school, you can reiterate that they need to get their homework done on priority.
Also, once your kids get down to work at night, there should be a no-phone zone. Set a precondition that they will be returned their phone once they are done with their homework. If your kids need access to internet for their assignments, don’t handover their phone to them. Instead, allow them to use a family computer.
Create no-phone zones
We have talked about this time and again why you should have no-phone zones at home. This encourages your kids to spend less time with their cell phones and more with real people. Set no-phone zones during meal times and when your kids are studying. The benefits of family dinners are immense; kids who regularly eat dinner with their family are academically better than those who don’t.
But you can’t reap the benefits of dinnertime unless your kid are alienated from their smartphones. Don’t let your kids come to the dinner table with their cell phones, if they do, take them away, put them on silent and promise your kids that their phones will be returned once the dinnertime is over.
Another important zone where you shouldn’t allow your kids to use their cell hone is their bedroom. Most parents know the benefits of keeping smartphones away from their kids’ bedroom during nighttime. When your kids are alone with their smartphones in the vicinity of their room, they don’t just use that time to surf internet or use Instagram; in fact, it’s the time when they will try to engage in risky behaviors.
Creating time limits are necessary
With proper screen time limitations, you will have a better check on your kids’ cell phone use. Let your kids stream TV shows or browse the web for as much as 30-60 minutes in a single go. Encourage them to go outside or do some physical activity. Invite their friends to your place and let them have a conversation in person rather than over a smartphone screen. The less time your child is spending with their cell phone, the better it is. So don’t hesitate to try new things.
Let’s try to understand the fact that your kids shouldn’t acquiesce, but rather embrace your decisions whole heartedly. If your kids hate the fact that their cell phone are taken away, you aren’t doing the parenting right. Whether it’s homework time or meal time, your kids should understand the importance of limiting their cell phone use.
Another important place where parents need to keep their kids away from their cell phones is their bedrooms. When kids know that you aren’t going to check on them, there are higher chances that they will engage in risky behavior. In fact, according to a study, 40 percent of the teens have shared their explicit photos and videos online with others.
Another reason why parents need to contain the digital devices out of their kids’ rooms is to avoid the negative effects of smartphone use. Screen time before bedtime can inhibit the production of sleep-inducing hormones which could keep your child up all night. For this reason, it’s best that you make their bedroom a no-phone zone too.
Parents, don’t forget to convey these after-school digital etiquettes to your child, and also, make sure you are also keeping your phone down during meal time, because if you aren’t, your kids won’t either.
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