If you haven’t already checked it out, over at Eduro Learning (sorry, shameless plug!) we’ve been putting together some quality content to help parents. There’s a range of resources and even some courses that you can take if you’re in need of some support, ideas and advice all around the challenges of this ever-changing, fast developing, 24/7 digital age we are living in.
Our current launch for the Parenting in the Digital Age courses has had me thinking and reflecting over the last week or so about what are good digital habits. I’ve shared a few blog posts already (see the bold links at the top) but I thought I’d share some more of what I’ve been thinking more about.
Teenagers love to multi-task but it’s a myth! Research shows that it’s not really good for getting things done! It’s so easy to lose your train of thought when you have multiple windows, tabs or documents open! The risk of mishaps (like FBLive-ing on the wrong page) increase or sometimes too many tabs open can freeze your device! More importantly, the distractions of multi-tasking can make homework tasks take much longer than necessary. There are so great apps out there to help minimise distractions like
- Pomodoro App from iTunes (free)
- Time Out app
- Study Buddy App from iTunes (99c)
- Impetus App from Android Store (free)
Foster Good Physical Habits with Devices
Help your kids develop good physical habits to protect their eyes, posture, hands, and overall physical well-being by taking breaks, walking around, stretching etc. And if they have a very busy day, there may be no time to use technology for fun that day. Shimmy and shake. In the ad-breaks, have a competition to see who can do 20 star jumps the fastest!
Make Digital Detox-ing a Regular Thing
Whatever suits your family. It might be once a week, it might be every second week or even once a month – but make it a regular occurrence. Unplug, disconnect, put down all devices for a given amount of time.
Make Bedrooms Technology-Free Zones
Try Overnight-Baskets for all Devices or Tech-Mats where all devices rest for the night. Create a charging station where everyone’s devices get charged overnight.
Research recommends switching off from screens at least 45 to 60 minutes before going to bed to ensure a healthy, restful sleep ensues. Even with night-time screen backing, it’s still over-stimulating to be connected to your device before enjoys those zzzzz’s.
Most health experts agree that switching off the screen a least an hour before bedtime encourages a better night’s sleep for everyone! Consider having a charging station for everyone’s device in the kitchen/lounge overnight. You might also want to consider switching off your router/modem for the night. Some routers/modems allow you to program certain times when they can’t access the internet. Check out this awesome infographic from the National Sleep Foundation: Electronics and Sleep in the Modern Family
Avoid Checking Phones Upon Waking
This one’s more for our older teenagers than our younger kiddos. I’m currently working on building this particular habit myself. Reaching for my phone as soon as I woke up wasn’t always setting the tone for my day in a positive way! I was answering emails, tweeting, and getting stressed out before I even got up! Now, I’m resisting the urge to check my phone before I do an early morning yoga stretch, breathe combination to help set the tone for the day. And I have to say it’s working! It’s definitely a better way to start my day and I feel more relaxed and ready to manage whatever the universe throws at me!
So how about you? What good digital habits do you have?