Kids need to learn and practice skills for healthy interactions with digital devices and people. Summer is a good time to put down the phones and positively interact with friends and family. Parents can teach, model and guard proper and healthy behaviors, especially when it comes to technology.
On June 25, The Daily Mail out of the United Kingdom reported “Millions of children are missing out on traditional family lifestyles because they spend 32 hours a week in front of a screen…” This report states the following: a study found youngsters are glued to screens for four hours on school day, parents admitted their kids use technology for a shocking 32 hours a week, experts have warned high usage can ruin children’s communication skills and more.
This report cites that “…staggering figures emerged after a study was carried out using thousands of UK parents.” They have found that children have their eyes on screens for more than four hours on a school day and six hours at the weekend. They assert that experts warn that digital distractions are stunting children’s development, stopping them from learning face-to-face communication skills.
This report contends that children copy adult behavior with “phubbing,” which means to snub someone in favor of giving attention to a digital device interaction. They assert that parents and adults can make a difference with children by modeling healthy boundaries with digital devices, such as letting children see them switch off and put away phones in face-to-face conversations. They say that adults should model how there is a time and a place to use devices. They state that it is important for parents to guard family values that support overall mental, emotional and physical well-being.
Becoming Minimalist gives some good tips on how to effectively limit kids’ screen time. Unplug and enjoy the summer with friends and family face-to-face. Summer programs in camps, churches and civic organizations can encourage good social and communications skills. Enjoy good movies and healthy digital interactions intermittently without phubbing.