Give yourself grace
During this overwhelming time, giving ourselves grace is crucial. Including for our parenting approach. Regardless of age, we all are going to be engaging in more screen time, and that is okay! Allowing your kindergartener to watch that extra Disney movie while you get some work done, especially during this stressful time, is not the end of the world!
Our tweens and teens are also trying to foster that developmentally important social experience that they are missing through increased time spent on FaceTime calls, video games with friends, YouTube, and social media accounts.
Leaning on screens during this time is a natural tendency for all of us, as they can provide that sense of connection and comfort. Accepting that more screen time is inevitable and taking the time to discuss Internet safety with your child will help ease your burden as a parent.
Be aware of the risks
During this time, it is also critical to recognize that more screen time also comes with an increased risk of our children stumbling upon inappropriate content, revealing personal information, and cyberbullying.
Set Screen Time Rules
In the middle of all this chaos, your children need you to set structure and safety rules around their time on devices.
Talk with your children about Internet safety
Start with a simple and open conversation around the good and bad parts of the Internet. Keep the dialogue ongoing and create a safe space for them to turn to if they feel uncomfortable or attacked.
Balance screen time with going outdoors!
Engage your child in movement activities such as playing tag, drawing with sidewalk chalk, playing catch, a game of “I Spy” on a walk, and imaginative outdoor play.
There is no such thing as a “perfect parent”, you are doing the best you can. As long as your kids are safe and remaining connected to you, we think you are doing an amazing job!