How to get your chil­dren to un­plug from technology

Texarkana Gazette - - FEATURES -

Brib­ing?? Beg­ging?

Ground­ing? Art­ful per­sua­sion?

What’s the best way to mo­ti­vate kids to give up their technology, even tem­po­rar­ily? Lisa Vau­pel, a ther­a­pist at Wash­burn Cen­ter for Chil­dren, of­fers a few ideas:

Dis­tract. Get kids in­ter­ested in some­thing else. “As a fam­ily, say, ‘We’re go­ing to the park’ or on a bike ride. They’re get­ting off their technology and get­ting great in­ter­ac­tions with their fam­ily.”

En­rich. Find some­thing else your kids are in­ter­ested in, from swim­ming to a book club.

De­lay grat­i­fi­ca­tion. “Technology can be the re­ward in a lim­ited dose, but have them com­plete tasks first. For younger chil­dren, say, ‘If you get dressed, brush your teeth and eat break­fast, you can have 15 min­utes of screen time.’ With older kids, first they do chores, then they get the wire­less pass­word,” which means you might have to change that pass­word to­mor­row.

Read. Put down the phones and read a book to­gether, “or have them read to you.”

Teach time man­age­ment. Al­lot 30 min­utes to screen time, which teaches them how fast time flies.

Role model. “At the park, do we pull out our cell­phone af­ter we’ve just told them to go play?” In­stead, go talk to an­other par­ent.

Use technology wisely. “Kids need to use their technology, and we want them to use it and un­der­stand it. For ex­am­ple, technology is great for or­ga­niz­ing. Have them use alarms to re­mind them to do their laun­dry. Or text your kid and say, ‘Hey, I’m think­ing about you. I’m re­ally cu­ri­ous about your day.’?”

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