Raising kids in the digital age
With cell phones, video games, laptop computers, iPads, Facebook – or even just TV – today’s children are exposed to so many digital devices and media. With so many distractions, it’s hard to "disconnect" your child and enforce more traditional, yet fundamentally important, activities such as reading a book, riding a bike or imaginative play.
To help you create a balance for your child in our highly digital world, here are a few simple tips.
Tips for Raising Kids in the Digital Age
- Children younger than 2 years old should not be regularly watching TV or using other forms of media. This includes "background" TV.
- Keep TVs out of your children’s bedrooms, as they can interfere with normal sleep.
- Although there are many educational programs available, remember that your kids still benefit from "old-fashioned" play. Examples include: coloring, playing with blocks and pretending with dolls or action figures. This type of "play" may improve their creativity and help them learn to entertain themselves, rather than constantly needing something to entertain them.
- Older children’s media use should be limited to two hours per day or fewer.
- Monitor your older child’s online activity and watch what he or she posts on blogs and social networking sites such as Facebook.
- Talk to your kids about Internet safety. Remind them to use caution when posting photos or sharing information. Sometimes, they do not really know who is seeing this information. Also, some posted information can never be removed.
- Encourage in-person communication rather than Skype, FaceTime or texting. Personal connections help develop strong friendships.
About the Author
Dr. Jennie Hurwitz is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics. She believes in creating a caring and sensitive relationship with her patients and their parents in order to communicate more easily with them about their health. Dr. Hurwitz places a great deal of emphasis on the importance of preventive health maintenance, and believes in educating families on the value of a healthy lifestyle.