Parenting is hard, parenting with ADHD even more so. Add distracting technology and limiting screen time seems impossible. We know, we’ve been there with our own kids. Luckily, we discovered (through plenty of trial and error) strategies we wish we’d known earlier.
Most kids find it hard to avoid excessive gaming, social media and other digital distractions. Kids with ADHD, we soon learnt, found it even tougher. Our kids were more ‘tech savvy’ than us, but that didn’t mean they knew how to manage their screen time.
We had critical life experience, maturity and judgement that provided guidance our kids needed. All we had to do was impart that knowledge to them. We tried everything: marble jars, reminder lists, timers. In fact, we actually ended up working with ADHD experts to create a software solution called Habyts.
In the meantime, we discovered 32 screen time strategies to empower parents (and help them avoid some of our mistakes along the way).
We could give you all 32 strategies at once, but we don't want to overwhelm you.
BUILD A FAMILY PLAN THAT GOES BEYOND SHORT-TERM FIXES
Our first #TameTechTogether Tip in honour of ADHD Awareness Month 2018!
First you must identify your own motivations for setting screen time limits. For example, to create a richer family life, teach your kids good life habits, etc.
Your day-to-day tactics may change, but when you hit resistance from your kids, this initial deeper goal will give you the confidence to continue.
To figure out your key motivation and goal, take our 7 day digital dial back challenge!
#TameTechTogether today by starting with a small achievable win.
Make the initial rules so easy that your child cannot fail. This gives them the confidence to give it a go, rather than say no to you outright.
So rather than ‘no screen time before homework’, why not start with ‘only 15 minutes screen time before 30 minutes homework’. Slow and steady wins the race.
Need help finding a rule that works for your child? We’ve got 6 examples here to get you started.
#TameTechTogether means only one thing…focus on helping your kids stick to their routine.
Don’t nag or make them feel bad, they’ll build up their level of performance once the behaviour becomes consistent.
If you’re not sure where to even start when it comes to setting up a screen routine, we’ve got 7 templates you can use to get started.
#TameTechTogether by reframing screen time as a privilege.
Many kids feel entitled to screen time and the prospect of digital rules puts some kids on the defensive.
By making screen time something a child must earn, you can use screen time as a motivational tool to build healthy habits.
It’s not too late. Find out how to reframe rights for your child here.
If you want to #TameTechTogether, start with your child’s screen time issue.
This will help you identify the right screen time routine.
For example, if homework distractions are an issue, you may decide to implement a ‘Weekend Only’ or ‘Homework First’ screen time routine.
If homework IS an issue, download our free guide on how to manage screen time and schoolwork effectively.
Kick off the tech talk with your child using questions and #TameTechTogether!
❓ Questions like: “What do you like to do online?” and “What rules do you think would be good?”
Let your child be heard and they’ll give you some useful insights. If you want a bit more guidance on how to have the screen time talk, have a read of this blog.
#TameTechTogether by laying out the immediate benefits of a screen time routine.
From a child’s perspective, these may include:
- getting parents off their back
- gaining more independence to manage their devices
- having the potential to earn more screen time and privileges.
If you need help convincing your kids to give screen time rules a go…we’ve got just the thing.
AGREE ON FAMILY RULES (BECAUSE YOU’RE IN THIS TOGETHER)
DANGER! Drop zone approaching!
Kids know tech and water don’t mix. Now they need to know that devices in tech-free rooms aren’t safe either.
Create a drop zone in rooms you’d like to keep tech free to #TameTechTogether.
When anyone enters the room, they ‘deposit’ their screens in the drop zone and pick them up again when they exit. Want to discover more home hacks?
It’s time to #TameTechTogether by not allowing screens in bedrooms at all.
Yes, that means you too parents.
Need convincing? Here are 5 shocking facts you probably don’t know about screen time and kids health.
If you’re going to #TameTechTogether then it’s important to agree not to check your phones during conversations.
After all, kids take their parents lead and you’re in this together!
For more rules that your kids actually WANT you to implement when it comes to technology, have a read of this.
#TameTechTogether by setting up a charging station using a simple plug or multi-socket extension lead.
Get gadgets out of bedrooms by charging everyone’s devices at the station overnight! Simple!
Download our free guide to prepping your home for screen time success for more ideas!
Setting times as a family to check social media is a great way to #TameTechTogether.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say again, kids take their cues from their parents!
But there are 3 reasons you, as a parent, need to be even more careful how often you go on social media…read on to find out why.
Agree a time when all screens go off for everyone and #TameTechTogether!
For example, no phones during dinner time is a great way to reconnect and have some quality family time instead.
If you’d like more ways to prep your home for screen time success, you can download our free guide here!
#TameTechTogether by setting an example.
We know it’s tough, but it’s time to cut back on your own screen time. Not surprisingly, kids accept new rules more easily when parents have to follow them as well.
Have a detox day – or just an evening – and #TameTechTogether!
Having even just a short slice of time as a family without tech will help your kids disconnect from their devices.
We wrote this blog back in the summer, but the 6 tips are still applicable in Autumn too!
GET A SCREEN TIME APP THAT WORKS FOR YOU
If you’re looking for a more practical way to #TameTechTogether, use a solution that monitors screen time across multiple devices.
That way, when you say one hour only, it really IS one hour – regardless of how many devices your child owns.
If you don’t know where to start, take a look and see how screen time parental controls can work for you.
Want to #TameTechTogether effectively?
Be sure the app you use can block distracting websites and apps during study time!
This way you don’t have to guess whether your child is doing homework — you just know.
Here, we’ll show you how you can set up Study Time limits.
#TameTechTogether! Choose an app that separates play and screen time.
This means your kids aren’t penalised while using screens for homework.
Want to know how that works, realistically? Take a look here, we’ll show you.
Safe browsing should be in effect all the time if you want to #TameTechTogether!
Today’s tip is in honour of Cyber Security month.
Effective screen time apps block distracting AND harmful websites and apps…even when your kids are in private Incognito mode.
Don’t believe us? Take a look for yourself…
#TameTechTogether by finding a solution that sets your child tasks, and reminds them when they are due. ⌛
Smart solutions out there also allow you to block screen time until a task is done.
How do we know? Because that’s what Habyts does!
If you want to #TameTechTogether, you need to motivate your kids with an app that lets them earn points for doing tasks which unlock rewards.
This could be anything from bonus screen time to a non-digital reward agreed with your child.
The most important thing is to acknowledge when they get their screen time behaviour right! The more positive reinforcement, the more likely they are to continue!
Check out our 51 reward ideas to motivate and inspire kids to get started.
Find an app that works across your kids’ devices and #TameTechTogether!
Most kids have Android phones or iPads or Windows laptops. That’s why you need a flexible app will be able to work across all of them.
That way, when you say one hour of screen time, it means 1 hour in total! ⏰
See how Habyts can help you – the parents – take control of screen time again.
CELEBRATE TO MOTIVATE
Celebrate the smallest of screen time wins when you #TameTechTogether!
The recognition doesn’t have to be anything grand. Take a look at these 51 reward ideas to get you started.
If you’re struggling to #TameTechTogether, use descriptive praise.
This will both strengthen your relationship with your child AND build better screen habits.
For example, “I see you’ve come to the end of your screen time. You’ve put down your device without arguing. That’s very responsible”.
For more advice from Noel Janis-Norton, take a look at our book review on her screen time guidance.
Teach kids to set up small rewards for themselves to finish tasks and #TameTechTogether!
By practising in small steps, kids train themselves to defer instant gratification.
Want to give it a try? We share how you can teach your kids delayed gratification…
#TameTechTogether by tackling tough digital transitions.
Make sure that whatever immediately follows screen time is something your child enjoys.
It could be reading, playing a game, or a snack – but it’s probably best to avoid something like chores or homework.
Hear from one of our parents about how Habyts helped their child to put their device away without the tech tantrums!
Create a list of rewards in advance to #TameTechTogether. ✍️
We know it’s tough to come up with rewards on the fly, so don’t put yourself in that position!
Remember: rewards don’t have to be large or involve money to be effective. ☕
Don’t forget to make a list of rewards for yourself if you want to #TameTechTogether! ✍️
It’s important to keep YOUR resolve as a parent.
- A lazy day (or even just an hour)
- A positive affirmation (you’ve got this!)
- A sweet treat to get you through the day.
If you need a little motivation to get you started, we’ve got 21 ways and motivational quotes to get you through your screen time journey.
EMBRACE EXPERIMENTS AND SETBACKS
#TameTechTogether. Remember your original goal.
If you’re wondering whether you are moving forward, progress toward that shared original goal is your yardstick.
And if you feel like you’re getting nowhere at all, we reveal the 7 ways to make sure ANY screen time routine is successful.
Don’t forget to ask your kids what they think if you want to #TameTechTogether.
If you treat it as a shared experiment, rather than a blame and shame game, they’ll be keen to monitor their own progress.✍️
The secret to #TameTechTogether?
Keep your cool.
When your kids kick up a fuss (and they will), just listen. Chances are, once tempers have cooled, you can refine your screen time routine to help ease tensions.
#TameTechTogether by regularly reviewing progress with your child.
Recognise even the baby steps, and allow time for each habit to stick.
They say it takes 21 days to make a habit to stick, so we’ve got 21 motivations to help you out!
RELATED: Need help to stop screen time battles, homework hassles and chore wars?
Remember to bookmark this blog and come back to it daily for more strategies to cope with screen time! We’ll see you tomorrow…