Unplugging Your Kids from Technology

If your children are a little too plugged in to technology, you might have noticed some unwanted side effects. Digital overload has been associated with a host of problems, including attention difficulties, low grades, impaired sleep, obesity and withdrawal from family life, among others.

But there are practical things you can do as a parent to help wean your child from technology overuse. Here are a few ideas:


  • Know how much is too much. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that young children shouldn’t spend more than two hours a day plugged into technology. If your child is spending more than that – and the average child does spend an average of eight hours – it’s time to set limits.
  • Declare ‘Unplug and Reconnect’ time. Specify a special tech-free time of day. Enjoy a meal without interruptions. Plan a family game night. The goal is to disconnect from technology and to find time to reconnect with your family.
  • Offer alternatives. Help your child develop a list of entertaining, technology-free games and other activities they could do by themselves or with the family. Show them that there’s a world of fun beyond the Internet.
  • Get moving. Today’s technology-addicted children are more sedentary than is good for them – which may explain why childhood obesity and Type II diabetes rates are soaring. Encourage physical play – perhaps even a family touch football game now and then.
  • Foster a balance. Establish a rule that technology use must be balanced with other activities. Tell your children that every hour spent surfing the Internet must be offset by an hour playing a non-technological activity.
  • Set a good example. Your children will often emulate your behavior. If you think they’ve become too consumed by technology, make sure that the same isn’t true of your own technology use.

Cute ‘iPad Baby’ Provokes Thoughts about Reading

In a video making the rounds on YouTube, a toddler is seen trying – and failing – to manipulate the pages of a magazine as if it were an iPad instead of a stack of printed pages. Frustrated in her attempts to make images move, she pushes the magazine away.

Adorable, right?

Well, maybe not. How valuable can it be for a baby to learn that mom’s iPad, with its flashy moving images, is way cooler than the printed page? If children learn to read by being read to by their parents and by mimicking parental behavior – which they do – what is this child learning?

Reading experts say even the youngest of babies benefit when their parents or other adults read to them aloud from a book. By being read to, a baby learns about communication and about important concepts such as numbers and letters, and colors and shapes. Reading also builds critical listening, memory, and vocabulary skills. Indeed, the very act of participating in reading at an early age is what creates lifelong readers. When parent and baby share a book, the baby is usually encouraged to join in the activity by turning pages and following text from left to right. This is behavior that will serve them well when they begin to read on their own.

So yes, it’s cute to see the iPad baby grapple with the pages of a magazine. But it would be really neat if the next frame of the YouTube video showed a parent picking up the magazine the child has pushed away to show her how cool words and pictures can be – even when they only move in our imaginations.


Fathers Day Card: Park

Fathers Day Card: Park

Fathers Day Card: Fishing

Fathers Day Card: Fishing

Father’s Day Card: Unplug

Fathers Day Card: Unplug