As summer begins, it may seem like your child is now staring at a screen 24/7. The Safe, Smart & Social blog had seven digital safety experts who are also parents provide their best advice for teaching kids to be productive with their online time. Those are:

  1. Teach self-moderation: Learning to control your screen time is an essential skill these days, and one even adults struggle with.
  2. Don’t allow devices at the dinner table: A family dinner is more than just sharing meal, it’s also about sharing stories and experiences.
  3. Block distractions: There are many browser apps that will block Facebook, Instagram, and more so your child (or you!) can be productive when you need to be.
  4. Show how screen time can be productive: Teach your child time management through the Pomodoro technique (25 minutes of work, 5 minutes of break, scaled as age appropriate) and show them how online tools can be used for working together on a group project as well as socializing.
  5. Lead by example: Don’t spend all your time on your phone as well, and consider providing the WiFi password only after chores have been done.
  6. Create a screen time log: Have your kids create a log of the sites they visit and time spent at each (or check their browser history at the end of the day).
  7. Set weekday screen time limits: Set limits on screen time and expectations for what must be done before getting online, with extra screen time as something to be earned.

Be sure to read the full article to find out more about each of these strategies.


Photo © 2011 by Jessica Fless-Hill under Creative Commons license.