As we head into 2021, adults and kids alike may still be enjoying the excitement of digital devices received as gifts over the holidays. However, the new year is always a great time for a reset, so alongside those new devices, consider adopting some new digital habits.
Here are some great ideas for helping your family build healthier relationships with their digital devices:
• Get healthy: Not all screen time is wasted time. You can use your device in positive, productive ways that help your family work toward improved physical health. For example, a steps counter might encourage your family to move more or even take up running, while a yoga app can help guide your family through quick routines you can practice from the comfort of home.
• Get smart: Likewise, the members of your family can use their devices to exercise their minds. Encourage everyone to let their smartphones and tablets double function as e-readers, and to download apps that teach new skills and build knowledge. You can even try setting a goal as a family, such as learning a new language using the same app.
• Schedule digital downtime: Too much screen time is associated with poor quality sleep, increased anxiety and a range of other physical and mental health concerns, so be sure each day includes digital downtime. This is especially important if your family is working and learning from home right now. Make the most of these screen-free blocks by engaging in active play, moving, getting fresh air or spending quality time together.
• Get assistance: Making sure every member of the family is using their device only in safe and healthy ways is easier said than done, however, a parental guidance app can help. Using OurPact for example, the most comprehensive parental control app, you can remotely establish automated schedules for when internet, apps and the device itself are unavailable. Features include URL whitelisting and blacklisting, daily screen time allowances and iMessage/SMS blocking, helping ensure device usage passes your approval. Available at the iOS App Store and Google Play Store, parents can also sign up for an account at www.ourpact.com.
For better overall health and wellness, make 2021 the year your family adopts great digital habits.