4 Tips for Disconnecting Your Child from the Electronic World

Are your children wrapped up in Fortnite? Do they go straight to their electronics after school? Dr. Elaine Schneider, a therapist and author, has tips for parents who worry about how they can control their child’s electronic pastime.

  • Set rules. Limit the amount of time your child can spend on an electronic device and be consistent in enforcing those rules. This way your child knows that when you say he or she only has two minutes left, then there really is only two minutes left, not three or four hours.

  • how to remove electronics from kidsUse a timer. A timer does not “lie” and can take the blame away from you when you’re limiting your child’s time on the device. Use the timer that measures down the time your child is spending on the tablet, smartphone, and/or technological game, so that your child knows the end for using that device is approaching, and it won’t be a surprise when time is up. You can even have your child select a tone on the smartphone that he or she likes.

  • Be ready with another activity.  Plan an alternative way of engaging your child so when the device is turned off, some other interest can be provided and take his or her mind off the electronic device. “Describe what you’re going to do so the child’s interest is piqued into doing something else that he or she enjoys,” Schneider says.

  • Use these tips in your home at first. As with everything, at first there’s a learning curve, so there may be tantrums, tears, melt downs and even depression. That’s why Schneider recommends following these tips at home first. “I wouldn’t think of trying this out in public right away since I don’t think you want to endure the wrath or glances of diners or shoppers as they hear your child scream,” Schneider says.  In time, though, the child will know what is expected, she says, and will be able to disconnect from a smartphone, tablet, or other electronic device without major meltdowns.

In the long run, you’re doing a service for your child by limiting the amount of time spent on an electronic device,” Schneider says. “I can remember hearing my own mother’s words, ‘I’m doing this for your own good!’ And that’s really true.”

Elaine Fogel Schneider, author of the Amazon bestseller “7 Strategies for Raising Calm, Inspired & Successful Children” (www.askdrelaine.com), is one of the country’s leading authorities on touch therapy, and founder of Baby Steps, preparing young children for educational readiness and providing parent coaching. As a sought-after speaker and trainer, she offers interactive presentations and workshops for educators, parents and healthcare professionals.

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