Dec 18, 2013

How to limit kids’ tech use over winter break

Winter break is upon us, and for most kids, that means at least two full weeks to laze around in pajamas, sip hot cocoa, and enjoy a break from their studies. Add to that the fact that four in five parents are planning to give their children Internet-ready gadgets this holiday, and you’ve got a recipe for tech overload. Unless you want to spend the New Year with a digital detox, it’s important to help your kid manage his web usage over break. Here are a few tips for encouraging digital moderation this holiday.

Be Proactive.Kids love technology, and they will spend all of their free time on some device or another if you let them. Recognize that instead of visions of sugarplums, your child may have his sights set on a full-blown Internet binge this holiday. Let him know beforehand that this isn’t the plan, and take time to explain why. Assure your child that you want him to have fun over his well-earned break, but that too much time spent online isn’t good for him, nor will it be the most fulfilling way to spend his vacation.

Enforce limits. It’s easy to get complacent and let the rules fly out the window during the holiday vacation. After all, it’s your break too! Resist the urge to give in. If you’ve decided on a two-hour a day screen time limit, then stick to it. Qustodio’s time management tool can make enforcing limits a breeze by locking Internet access as soon as your child has used his allotted screen time for the day.

Get Involved.It may sound cliché, but your child really does crave your “presence” over any presents you could give him this holiday season. Set aside as much time as possible to do low-tech things together. Play a board game, go window shopping, or have a snowball fight if weather permits. It may also be helpful to schedule time for your child to socialize with her friends. Depending on her age, you may want to set up a playdate for her, help arrange a sleepover, or simply encourage her to invite a few friends over to hang out.

If despite implementing these tips, you still find it challenging to keep your kid occupied with anything other than a gadget or device this holiday, remember that a little boredom never hurt anyone, and it can actually be good for your child’s creativity and imagination!

#### References

Christmas Online Safety Hotline Launched for Kids and Parents

How can Qustodio help protect your family?

Qustodio is the best way to keep your kids safe online and help them create healthy digital habits. Our parental control tools ensure they don't access inappropriate content or spend too much time in front of their screens.