Great Ways To Manage Your Child’s Tech Time

by Sheri @ Purposeful Habits
59 comments

This post may contain referral links, which means I may receive a small credit, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. All opinions remain my own.

Today, I want to show you what you can do to manage your child’s tech time, no matter what age they are. Kids and tablets seem to go hand in hand these days. Some parents believe in no screen time, some believe in a little, like me, and then there are moms like me who don’t mind their toddlers having the iPad whenever they want it because it keeps them occupied.

In 2010, only 8% of American families with children between the ages of 0-8 had tablets in their home. By 2011, about 40% did. My little one is two and a half. From the day he was born until today, his brain has tripled in size.

Parents teach their children how to communicate and develop emotional bonds. For children who spend too much time interacting with a screen, may find it harder to develop some essential life skills they need. For example, impulse-control, challenging themselves, empathy, and doing things in moderation. As a result, this could become their very first addiction.

A tablet should not become the main method to soothe and distract your child.

 

Toddler and Tablets: When Should You Make The Introduction?

Learn to manage your child's tech time by getting and saying involved

Children reach for electronic gadgets of all kinds, particularly cell phones and tablets. My little one has claimed my iPad. He thinks it belongs to him and I need approval before touching it. Nowadays, children using technology is the norm, so when is the best time to introduce your child to the digital world?

Wait until they are in preschool if possible. There is a lot of electronic educational content out there.  You can manage your child’s tech time by allowing your child to engage in learning activities. The goal is to create a balance with “real-playing” time and digital time.

Yes, our little one uses the iPad, but we only allow him to have it in the living room. Anywhere else is off limits. This simply stops him from wanting to take it with him when he goes to bed, or visit family, or even to a restaurant! I have seen many children having dinner out with their parents, with both mom and dad on their smartphones, while son and daughter are on iPads. This will not help you manage your child’s tech time if you are not setting a good example.

Children need balance. It is up to you to allocate and manage your child’s tech time while leaving time in their day for other activities. Parents need to be models for their children. I won’t lie, I like being on my laptop, watching series, reading, and working on my blog. It is important to consciously turn off electronics in order to just have that “us” time with my little one. When he goes to bed, I still have time to finish writing or watching.

Keep in mind that content is key. Many apps teach colours, math, time, shapes, etc. In our world today, it is unavoidable to use technology as a teaching tool. You only need to ensure you are making smart choices for your child.

Things To Remember About Digital Life

Manage your child's tech by introducing them to gadgets at the right time purposefulhabits.com

Kids are creators. They love to learn new things and explore the world. When they are still toddlers, they have mom and dad to watch over them when they are out and about, and teachers to help support them during the school day. My toddler loves to talk and be active. He loves participating in as much as he can and cannot resist a good challenge.

We loved the fact that he loves being outdoors, much more than being inside and staring at the screen. Some days, when the weather just won’t allow, so he stays indoors,and that’s where the balance between digital time and toys time comes in.

When you manage your child’s tech time, you are showing your child that the real world is different from the digital world. We want our kids to make great decisions so they can take advantage of the powerful technology that fills their lives. In order to make good choices, kids must know how the digital world works.

As soon as your child reaches an appropriate age, it is essential for your child to know that the majority of people they may come into contact with online, will be anonymous to them. They should also know that when something is out there, it will not go away. Everything leaves a digital footprint.

Phones are no longer only used for making phone calls like they were when I was growing up. Smartphones allow us to listen to music, send texts, take pictures, film videos, and access the internet.

If you are a millennial like me, you are probably an experienced internet user. Technology is highly integrated into your daily life. In our world today, parents can’t afford to be technophobes. It is everywhere.

Our basic parenting wisdom should be extended into the digital world. If our kids are going to thrive with digital media, we must balance the negative with the positive, privacy with protection.

 

Manage Your Child’s Tech Time Until They Move Out Of Your House

Manage your child's tech time my having fun outside activities abbusybeeslife.com

Be assertive about when your child can use his or her phone or tablet. Consider your child’s maturity level. Before making any decisions about screen time, consider your child’s maturity level. You should set boundaries on how long your child is allowed to be in front of the screen. Make those daily boundaries rather than weekly. You get to decide on their internet usage rules, which should only be up for discussion after your child reaches a certain age. Controlling your child’s access to the internet is good parenting.

 

Other Ways To Manage Your Child’s Tech Time

  • Have full control of their internet access. Even if they only watch kiddie videos on YouTube.
  • Have full control of their internet access. Even if they only watch kiddie videos on YouTube.
  • Use some tools to restrict their Internet access.
  • Filter web content.
  • Restrict web navigation.
  • Find out where they’re hanging out online.

It is important for children to understand that it is never OK to give out identifying information about themselves, friends, or family members. This includes names, addresses, phone numbers, where you work, email addresses, passwords, social security numbers, and credit card numbers.

How Apps Are Beneficial And Can Help Manage Your Child’s Tech Time

Manage your child's tech time and be cautious of their online activity purposefulhabits.com

Kids love tools where they can actually make something happen. If your child is asking you for apps, check out an app before you let your child use it. I always test them before I download any on the iPad for our little one. I don’t rely on the age recommendations in the iTunes Store or on Google Play. Read reviews and comments as a place to start.  Apps can be fun, educational, or both. The most important goal is protecting your child’s privacy and ensuring safety.

When downloading apps, try to steer away from geo-location apps, such as Foursquare, Facebook, Twitter, MobileMe etc.       I used to have my iPad synced with my iPhone. Now, in order to ensure safety and protection for my little one, I created a new iPad and iCloud account so the two are completely separate.  The essential component to all geo-location apps is revealing the user’s location in real-time. Why would you want your child on an app or device that is capable of revealing your child’s exact location in real-time to complete strangers?

When you set usage rules for internet and technology use, which can include certain days of the week and also hours, you will do better to manage your child’s tech time. Allow some flexibility, but don’t be a pushover. Choose different areas of your house and make those no screen zones. Also, remember that kids should power down their screens at least 30 minutes before they go to sleep. Our screen time management system works well for us, and the more you practice it, the easier it will be for you and your kids.

Use Parental Control Apps

manage your child's tech time and supervise their online activity purposefulhabits.com

There are so many out there, for me personally, I love Family Time.  This app allows you will keep you posted on your children’s whereabouts and let you manage screen time and block apps on their phones.

Block the apps and games you don’t want to be running on your kids’ devices altogether or even remotely shut down a device.  I love that you can also limit device access in the hours allocated for homework.

This app also offers bedtime controls, so your kids are in bed and really sleeping when it’s lights out.

We aren’t that far along yet, but we will be using this app in the future and will recommend it to family and friends.
Geo-fence as many places as you want to. You will get instant alerts when your kids enter or leave geo-fenced places any time. If you are worried about your child getting home from school safely, or is not where they are supposed to be at any given time, use this app to make sure they are safe. Best of all? Your kids CANNOT uninstall the app.

 

 


Available on iPhone, iPad & Android Phones/Tablets

Other Great Free Educational And Entertaining Apps For Toddlers

 

 

Kids follow what adults do, and they benefit greatly when expectations and good digital habits are modeled for them.

Be your kids personal example when teaching good digital habits. Have age appropriate conversations about technology use. This will help children build good digital habits and be responsible. Use technology free time to create intimate bonds, and promote a healthy family dynamic. Technology is great, but you can offer fun alternatives too.

Encourage your child to follow their passion, do what they love, try a new instrument, learn how to bake. Help them feed their passions.

Can you think of any additional things that parents should know about managing their child’s screen time?

How do you manage your child’s tech time? Share with me in the comments section below.

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59 comments

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59 comments

Dr. Nadia February 8, 2018 - 22:10

Amen girl! Technology is great but definitely in moderation. Great post

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Nadia (@MielandMint) February 3, 2018 - 18:50

Those are such valuable and important points! It’s vital to educate kids about technology and how to “behave” with it.
“Once it’s out there, there’s no taking it back” – such a scary but important warning. Will definitely be sharing this post with friends who have children (who use technology).
Nadia

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kylie cre8tone January 30, 2018 - 04:43

As a parent, it’s so crucial to manage lour kids tech time… we really need to do this for our kiddos..

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Jane January 29, 2018 - 07:49

Such a great and briiliant tips, My kids is so techy savvy and there is a time that they can’t manage enpugh their time because of it.

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Grace January 29, 2018 - 07:03

Such a brilliant tips, I am having a problem wit my childrens tech time, and I really don’t how to manage it.

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Angela Ricardo Bethea January 29, 2018 - 03:26

These are some great advice for a new mom like this. I will keep this on my mind for my growing son. Will pinned this out.

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TeeShares January 28, 2018 - 18:06

Great tips.. I worried about screen time a bit when my little one was a baby and everyone talked about limiting it. Now that she’s a toddler, it’s not a worry at all. She doesn’t watch TV – she never asks for it or anything. She has an iPad but only uses it to watch her music but that’s here and there.

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CurlyWhippedTee January 28, 2018 - 17:53

I particularly love this article because I have a toddler. She’s not really into the tablet yet but likes movies.

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The Motherhood Club January 28, 2018 - 15:08

Sherry ! Thank you so much for this post! I am always debating wether to give my daughter digital time or not, but I guess at some point she’s going to be exposed to internet and might as well teach her the boundaries and things like that myself. I saved this for the future also, that app sounds really good. I am going to be honest with you, this is one of my biggest fears as a mom, this generation is exposed to a lot of knowledge at a very young age, which is good and bad. And its up to us to help our children! I love your approach, you have encouraged me today to address this subject with my hubby❤️ Thank you!

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Sheri @ A Busy Bee's Life January 28, 2018 - 15:17

Hi Valerie. First off, let me say a big thank you to you for being so open and honest about your fears as a mom. Nowadays, lots of moms like us are scared or shy to express our fears because we are afraid of being judged or not being the “perfect mom.” I have to say, I am on the same page with you. The access to internet and people knowing your every move and location is a big fear that I have for my little one. I am a first time mom, so maybe there is a bigger tendency to want to over-protect. I have many repeated conversations with my hubby about how best to go about this and the best way to protect our little one. I am so happy this post has encouraged you to speak to your hubby about this. If this post can help at least one person, I will be delighted. Thank you so much, you made my day! xoxoxo S.

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Shantanu Sinha January 28, 2018 - 11:05

Hey Sheri,

Back in the days when we grew up, we had a no-screen time life because there weren’t any smart phones or tablets around. We had a pretty low tech life ourselves but like many other good things – that time is over! This current generation is growing around thriving tech and a parental approach of no-tech might not be a great idea I guess!

Children as small as 2 year olds know how to operate cell phones, kids in my family who are about that age can check pictures in the gallery, watch videos from inside the cell phone and from Youtube – they know how to operate the phone well. This makes it tricky to set limits – not time limits but internet limits in general. Perhaps it is time to look into some restriction based apps that works well.

I like your suggestions about setting a limit to make sure the phone isn’t used outside of the living room. Taking the cell phone in the bed room and watching it laying down or in dim light is pretty unhealthy.

Will look into the family time app, thanks for the suggestion,

Thanks,
– Shantanu

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AlwaysCarryOn.com January 28, 2018 - 10:43

I don’t have children, but I completely agree with the whole concept of monitoring their tech time. I see far too many parents just shushing their screaming child by shoving an iPad or an iPhone in their hands, and it really makes me cringe 🙁 how’s a child going to learn anything if every time they’re acting up they’re just given a piece of tech? x

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thenafranssen January 28, 2018 - 08:37

Great post. We limit our screen time in our home by incorporating reading and chores that have to be done in order to earn some screen time. It can be so addictive, it’s important to find that balance.

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modernmombiz January 28, 2018 - 01:39

Things are so different today than when I was a kid. We played outside after school until it was almost bedtime. I think some gadgets are good to an extent as long as it’s educational.

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Lori | LoriGeurin.com January 27, 2018 - 20:48

While technology can be such an amazing learning tools having boundaries is essential or kids would want to sit around all day with their ipads, phones, etc. Thank you for this informative article!

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miljance93mommysup January 27, 2018 - 18:47

I will wait until preschool as well. Of course there is so much of it, why bombard them some more…

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Healy Eats Real January 27, 2018 - 18:06

I’m all into implementing these techniques into parenthood and using the tech as best as possible at learning and trying to limit the rest of the content, although it can be pretty difficult these days.

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Sasha Gill January 27, 2018 - 11:00

I don’t have any kids but I do sometimes wonder how I will deal with ipads/iphones/any future products that come along if I ever do! When I was younger I always went outdoors to a park to have fun, and I don’t think I would have done that if I had an iPad to use!

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Sheri @ A Busy Bee's Life January 27, 2018 - 12:06

Sasha, I 100% agree with you and can relate completely. Growing up, I was outside a lot and did a lot of different sports. Nowadays, kids rush home to get on game consoles and the internet. This is why I wanted to shed light on balancing the two. 🙂

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A G January 27, 2018 - 08:00

I stumbled across this article. It doesn’t only have info for the mother but it has quite useful for dads with toddlers also. It’s great.

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Nisha January 27, 2018 - 06:29

That’s a very well written article. My kid eats food only by watching youtube videos. It has become a routine in everyone’s life these days
🙁

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arcasela January 26, 2018 - 18:35

I still find it weird when young children know how to navigate an iPad or mobile phone better than me! But that’s something we just have to adjust to and ensure we give them the appropriate age restrictions to suit their needs. It’s something I have to get used to when my younger cousins are on my phone searching through you-tube for example.

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coffeebrainplans January 26, 2018 - 16:54

I’m hoping to implement a no-technology day or evening per week in our household. It seems we’re all getting too addicted to our phones/tablets, adults and children alike in my household. I’m hoping to soon figure a way to add technology time into our behavior system – like they need to do chores to earn tablet time.

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Whatlauraloves January 26, 2018 - 14:25

I think tablets are so good for education but should be limited time wise so that they’re not the modern day version of sticking kids in front of the tv xxx

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Rachel January 26, 2018 - 13:24

These are such important tips! Its so important parents remember to put on restrictions and parental locks – I’ve worked in services where children have been exposed to things they shouldn’t have been. I hope parents read this and get some advice.

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Jen January 26, 2018 - 04:55

I think technology can be really useful for kids of all ages, but there is a fine balance between too much and being helpful. I try to be careful with how much time I allow my 5 year old. Your guide is very helpful, sometimes we don’t consider all that.

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Kiwi January 26, 2018 - 02:38

I am not a parent but i am an aunt and I can see kids really getting distracted with technology. Good info for parents to be mindful of their children’s screentime.

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Blair Villanueva January 25, 2018 - 19:25

I maybe old school, but I believe that kids should have that “right of passage” even when using their first tablet. That way, they have those precious moments that they enjoy a tech-free childhood.

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Sudip Saha January 25, 2018 - 12:31

Digital World has become an indispensable part of our lives. Kids should use but under adult supervision. Thanks for your tips.

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Michelle Ross January 25, 2018 - 05:31

Some great advice here. My 6 year old loves the screen, but he is limited to it, and has to earn time on the iPad or Xbox. Great posts.

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Mellissa Williams January 25, 2018 - 05:22

It’s so important to lay out guidelines for screen time for kids. All kids need rules. Everything in moderation is a mantra that I try to use in all aspects of life

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hann182014 January 25, 2018 - 04:32

Kids today have so much technology available to them. Tablets werent even thought about when i was a kid

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Jenni January 25, 2018 - 03:41

These are great tips. My 2 year old loves the iPad and can work his way around it. We encourage short periods of time only on it. I think there needs to be a balance of imaginative play and technology

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Adaleta Avdić January 24, 2018 - 23:36

I think this is such an important thing to do. Kids get exposed to screens so early these days so it needs to be monitored.

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Evelyn, PathofPresence January 24, 2018 - 17:23

I totally agree! Kids will follow our lead. As parents, it is wise to help our children understand that technology is a tool and a means to an end. That way, they do not get caught up with the screen and forget about everything else. Great post! <3

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Rebecca | AAUBlog January 24, 2018 - 15:30

I am all for kids using tech, as it is the way the world is going. But limiting their time and checking what they are using is key

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Dana Brillante-Peller January 24, 2018 - 15:16

I have a friend who finds it difficult to put the kids to sleep without the use of techology. I’ll be sure to share this with her and her husband. Might come in handy.

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Yocana talaia January 24, 2018 - 14:33

My son started using the iPad really early he knew how to go everywhere he was a pro. But we made the mistake of allowing him to use it everyday all the time we started realising that it was affecting how he interacted with everyone. So we decided to completely cut it out for a year he was allowed to watch tv only. But now we allow him to use it once in a while. I now believe it’s all about balance. It’s good for kids to use their tech but also do other activities.

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Yocana talaia January 24, 2018 - 14:31

My son started using the iPad really early he knew how to go everywhere he was a pro. But we made the mistake of allowing him to use it everyday all the time we started realising that it was affecting how he interacted with everyone. So we decided to completely cut it out for a year he was allowed to watch tv only. But now we allow him to use it once in a while. I now believe it’s all about balance. It’s good for kids to use their tech but also do other activities.

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emma white January 24, 2018 - 14:18

Some great advice here that I really need to adhere too as my 8 year old is a tech addict for sure it causes many problems

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Terri (@mylittleport) January 24, 2018 - 13:31

My daughter has gotten really strict about managing her kids tech time. They want to stay on their devices all the time. I’m going to send her your post and tips.

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GiGi Eats Celebrities January 24, 2018 - 13:31

It’s so crazy how times have TOTALLY CHANGED and we have to monitor kids time on technology! I miss the days when we would all PLAY OUTSIDE and use our imaginations!!

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Bethany January 24, 2018 - 11:52

I don’t think kids should have tablets tbh, because then they’ll want and want and want. I understand it may benefit th3m with learning, but there’s other ways for that to happen ‍♀️

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LavandaMichelle January 24, 2018 - 11:13

Great post and ideas. I will definitely take these into consideration. Especially about managing the time, my teen is almost always on her phone. It not the healthiest habit. I’ll show her this post. Thank you.

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Amila Wickramarachchi January 24, 2018 - 10:15

These tips are really helpful for parents.I allow my kid to use apps and also some other programs through internet.But,I control his time on such things and also make him spend time in outdoor activities…

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Shilpa Bindlish January 24, 2018 - 08:03

You’ve covered a much needed topic for parents. I also allow my son to use gadgets for limited time and keep an eye of his online activities.

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My Dee Dee's Diary January 24, 2018 - 05:27

I agree that children need balance. I to limit how much time I let my niece spend on her tablet.

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MissPond January 24, 2018 - 02:56

I don’t have any children yet, but I see my friends children with tech and understand their struggle in limiting it. Useful post!

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Shell January 24, 2018 - 00:02

I agree with you 100 %on these tips! I practice these precautions and rules with my child to help keep him safe and to make sure he doesn’t spend all his time on tech…

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Sangeetha Nimmagadda January 23, 2018 - 23:14

Finding out and keeping a track of the ones my kid interacts with online is definitely a challenge for me. Now that he knows around his gadgets well, many times I can’t seem to find out what’s going on! Thanks for sharing such amazing tips

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Stefanie January 23, 2018 - 22:09

Thanks for sharing the list of apps! I love the idea of only using the iPad in the living room to create balance. My son is one year but he currently likes physical play more than using the iPad. Hopefully it stays like that. I would like him to have a good balance of both

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Tasheena Nicole Johnson January 23, 2018 - 21:04

I love the concept of managing your child’s teach time until they move out of the house. Setting those routines are very important in creating structure in a child’s life.

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Rose January 23, 2018 - 21:01

I give my kids time on their tablets but, not everyday. They actually get the duration of the battery. When they battery dies (even if it’s at 100%) they are done for the day.

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tina January 23, 2018 - 20:03

It’s so hard for parents to know what apps are safe or not, I’ve heard horror stories about some of them. Balance and a watchful eye are definitely key. Thanks for sharing this awesome list of how to keep your child’s tech time in balance.

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Sarah Bailey January 23, 2018 - 18:59

It is amazing how much the word has changed in not so many years. Everything is so online and tech related, it is no wonder tech time needs watching.

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benleander January 23, 2018 - 15:44

While I think technology can be very helpful to anyone, including kid, I think you’re right to set boundaries and limit the time. All in all, exploration is the most important thing for kids and that shouldn’t be limited to tech stuff. They’ll have to use it more than they want to later in life anyways.

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Sandra January 23, 2018 - 15:09

Such incredible advice. We aren’t parents yet but I really have a problem with toddlers on screen time. When I see it in restaurants I’m sad. It’s like a distraction so that the parents can enjoy themselves. When I was a child we got crayons!

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Sahar January 23, 2018 - 14:38

All your tips are great! But I think the one that resonated the most with me was how kids follow what adults do–especially their parents. I couldn’t help but think of the difference in the children of parents who are low versus high phone users!

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jenny January 23, 2018 - 13:44

Our children are only allowed little screen time at the weekend. There are some lovely apps for them to use when they are online though.

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