Help: How to Get Your Child to Put Their Cell Phone Down
Are you tired of looking at the tops of your kids’ heads as they browse through texts and swipe through snapchat? You’re not alone.
The technology of today is so addicting that even most parents fall victim to its allure. But when your kids would rather watch a YouTube video than splash around in the pool, you know there’s a problem.
Here are a few ideas for getting your child to put down their phone.
Decide what’s acceptable
Decide when and how much time your kids should spend on their phones. For best results, ease them down gently. You may meet too much resistance if you try to cut their time down to an hour from unlimited screen time. Set attainable goals, so everyone can reasonably comply.
Make your expectations clear
If using the phone during dinner is a huge no-no, spell it out for everyone. If the kids are only allowed their phones at certain times, let them know. Before you start issuing consequences, make sure everyone is aware of the rules. It’s only fair.
Practice what you preach
This is the hardest part and often where most parents falter. But if you want your kids to put their phones down, you must be wiling to do the same. You don’t necessarily have to follow the same stringent limits, but you should make the effort to put your phone away during family time.
Make phone time a reward
If you’re concerned that the kids are spending too much time on their phones and not enough time on chores and homework, make phone time a reward. Collect their cell phones until they’ve completed their daily tasks. If they’re home with you, there’s really no need for them to have their phones. It’s just a (very) strong desire.
You can even get creative and offer extra phone time as a reward for good behavior. And on the flip side, you can take time away for bad behavior.
Provide an alternative
Want to know what will happen if you take away your kids’ phones without giving them an alternative? They’ll stare blankly into your face until you cave. At least, that’s what happens around here. But if you give them something fun to do instead, they’ll have a distraction.
You may have to force the fun upon them at first, and that’s okay. They’ll grow to look forward to your time spent together. Instead of spending an evening on your phones, you could have family game or movie night, or you could go for a walk together. This time will help you bond as a family as you all sidestep the grips of a budding technology addiction.
Get Your Child to Put Their Cell Phone Down
When you stop to think about it, smartphones are a relatively new phenomenon. So, if your kids are abusing technology, don’t beat yourself up over it. We’re all learning how to manage our time with our smartphones. But from here on, you and your family can make a concerted effort to limit technology time and increase family time. Everyone will be better off in the long run.