How To Get Kids to Read More: Balancing Screen & Reading Time
Are you worried that your children are spending more tapping on a tablet than turning the pages of a book? You’re not alone. With the constant allure of tablets, video games and computers tempting your kids, books often turn into dust collectors. Now is as good a time as any to establish rules that balance the time they spend using electronics and books. With the six tips below, your family should be able to achieve a good tech/book balance.
Create a Family Tech Policy
Establish a clear Family Tech Policy that let’s your children know when devices can be used and for how long. Don’t forget to create a plan for monitoring their usage and safety. Keep them on track by setting consequences for not following the policy.
Walk the Walk
Be a role model for your kids and show them that technology isn’t your most prized possession. Keep an eye on the time you spend using technology and represent the same balanced tech time you want your children to maintain. Reinforce the importance of books by reading in front of your children, it’ll help to establish value in books over technology.
Tech is a Privilege
Another way to keep the tech time in check is to make technology a privilege. Have your children earn technology usage for good behavior, and show them that it can be lost as well for bad behavior.
Time Limits on Tech
Setting appropriate time limits on electronics is another way to make sure your children don’t spend too much time with tech. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests no screen time for children under the age of 2 and 1–2 hours a day max for older children.
A way to prevent kids from becoming accustomed to using electronics daily is to designate times/days the family unplugs. Regularly schedule family reading time as a way tune out technology. An easy way to unplug during a “Screen-Free Day” is to enjoy the outdoors with your family and leave the tablets at home.
Designate technology-free areas in your home like your children’s bedrooms or the dining table and create more reading-friendly areas by building a reading nook and keeping books handy. It is much easier to monitor your children’s tech usage when it’s kept out of their bedroom and only used in common areas.
What are some things that have worked for your family to help balance screen time? Tell us in the comments!