Have you noticed how every kid uses gadgets, tablets, and smartphones like a pro? Thanks to technological advancements! Kids of this age have a special affinity for screens and gadgets. They prefer the screen for playing outdoors. And while many parents show their concern about the ever-increasing use of gadgets and data. But the truth is that it is quite convenient to have your kids engaged with a gadget. But unlimited data doesn’t mean you should allow your kids to stare into the screens without a time check.
Kids definitely love data and limiting it is a chore. Just like kids don’t understand the health hazards and risks attached to different things. The same is the case with screen and data usage. But as parents and adults, we are responsible to limit their data usage.
Don’t be like those helpless parents who surrender to the unreasonable demands of their kids. It may sound complicated and difficult but actually, it is quite simple. You also can’t ignore the ever-escalating data costs. At home, it is different, you have an unlimited internet bundle. But, if you travel frequently or go out a lot, your kids are going to be a part of your mobile plan.
We are going to be realistic here. Get ready to educate, model, and regulate the rules regarding limiting data usage. Here are some useful tips:
Tips to Control Your Child’s Screen Time and Data Usage
1. Educate Your Children about the Fine Use of Data
Don’t let them use data for the sake of using data. Take interest in the interests of your children. If he looks like a budding astronomer, introduce him to some amazing constellation apps. Also, encourage them to use Wikipedia and other educational sites to take help with their schoolwork.
This way they will understand the good and bad usage of the amenity of the internet. When they will be encouraged for learning better and watching instructional videos and other educational material, they will prefer them. Such podcasts and sites deserve priority. Plus, they eat up fewer data than useless rhymes and videos on YouTube!
2. Tell them about Their Limits
Your kids should understand the significance of limits. Disciplining them is very important. Don’t let them play games on their tablets and iPhones until the last minute. Pampering them doesn’t include spoiling them. Tell them to hand over the gadgets at meal times, bedtime, school time, and so on. Make them practice putting their phones away when family members are having a talk. Or, if they are watching a TV show together. Also, it wouldn’t harm to install a parental control app on their tablet or phone to block certain functions and sites.
3. Address the Problem to Them Effectively
When it comes to data plans, even the so-called “unlimited” family plans have limits. If they are old enough to use the data, they will understand this limitation too. After you have hit the threshold, just cut your data off. You don’t want to be charged extra for overusing your data plan. Or, have your speeds slowed down? If you have a Wi-Fi connection at home, make sure all your phones and tablets are configured to use Wi-Fi whenever available. Sit down with your kids and patiently explain how mobile plans function. Suggest a schedule may be. Remember, communication is the key.
4. Keep a Keen Eye on the Apps They Use
Don’t leave them unattended with these devices. Some of the major culprits, which eat up all your data, are certain apps. Some instances are podcast streaming apps, Netflix, and YouTube. In addition, some gaming apps hog a shocking amount of data. Whenever you see your kids using these apps, encourage them to use them at home when a Wi-Fi connection is available.
5. Model the Behavior That You Want to See
Last but most important, kids always copy what they see. If you are constantly glued to your smartphone and you never keep it away, don’t expect your kids to do that either. You need to keep your phone away during meal times while watching TV shows, and while putting your kids to bed.
When your kids will see you doing this, they will copy this ethic too. You can’t shout at your kids to keep the gadgets away when you don’t do it. Set guidelines and abide by them first before you ask your kids to follow them. Check out these simple and effective tips:
- Collect all the devices at a fixed time every night. And keep them in one place along with your own phone. This will allow your kid to check out mentally from all online activities
- Strictly ban any devices at the dinner table and during combined family activities
- Ban devices on the go, on car rides, and during outdoor sports
- Encourage more physical activities and sports and minimize the screen time
The data doesn’t have to essentially finish before your billing date comes. With effective communication, intelligent rules, and established boundaries, all family members can share a data plan without finishing it before the due date. With your Wi-Fi plan too, it doesn’t hurt to have some parental control apps such as Screen Time. I called the customer service number of the Wi-Fi I used, and they had some good suggestions for parental control apps.