Top 10 Ways to Keep Your Kids Off Phones

Posted by admin at 7:45 AM on Oct 24, 2016


Top 10 Ways to Keep Your Kids Off Phones

I’m not a behavioral psychologist. I didn’t even stay in a Holiday Inn last night. However, I do know that there’s an epidemic in our society that scares the heck out of me. Childhood has changed over the last decade and I’m not sure it’s for the better. Now before you label me as an uppity prude who is overly-sentimental and exceedingly nostalgic, know this… yeah, maybe. Exept the uppity prude part.

Here’s the deal, you know it and I know it. Our kids spend way too much time on their phones. Sure, there are a ton of cool things that come with technology. There’s nothing wrong with occasionally binge-watching a show on Netflix. And YouTube is fantastic if you need to figure out how to replace your faucet or even check out last night’s SNL video. That’s not the point here. What I am saying is that phones are no longer just a helpful tool for kids – they are a necessity. They are becoming an appendage. A crutch. And a dangerous distraction that is robbing them of the simple things in life.

The following “Top 10” list is complete common sense (and 100% opinion of course). Nothing new. However, we think it’s important for folks to see these ideas in “print” once in a while. Just another reminder that you can take control of your family – and your children, if you make just a few small adjustments every day. Some are extreme, some are fairly easy – and some are just plain silly. Or are they?

1. Don’t give your kids a phone in the first place. Or give them a flip-phone for emergencies. Believe it or not, people existed without phones for generations (and they ended up just fine).

2. Set an example and stay off of your phone. If you expect children to pattern their good behavior after you, why wouldn’t they become addicted to their cell phones when that’s the first place you look when you wake up each day. That means that you don’t need your phone to watch TV, pass time in a waiting room, or use the bathroom.

3. Go outside and play. It’s hard to play catch, shoot hoops, or receive a piggyback ride when you have a phone in your hand.

4. Set limits and stick to them. Remember, you’re the parent. Whether it’s two hours per day, or thirty minutes, give your kids some boundaries. Kids not only need boundaries, they actually like them.

5. Reward non-technology accomplishments. If you catch your kids playing a “real-life” game on their own, gush like there’s no tomorrow.

6. Give them books. Again, there’s nothing wrong with technology, but reading has proven to be a great builder of gray matter. Take turns reading books with them as a family – it’s a great bonding experience and actually a lot of fun!

7. Go fishing. I’ve been fishing thousands of times in my life and it’s nearly impossible to hold a phone when you’re reeling in the big one.

8. Cook something. Everyone’s got to eat, right? Might as well involve your children in the food preparation process. Not only is it a lot of fun, but you’d be surprised how many kids will actually eat vegetables when they were the ones preparing them.

9. Talk to your kids. I know it’s scary, but sit down and explain to your kids why you think they should limit their phone use. They might enjoy being part of the solution. Or at least they’ll know the reasons that you want them go grow up with less technology. Tell them about the “good old days.”

10. Create a chore list tied to phone use. While it’s not as fun as some of the other ideas, you can come up with a point system that enables them to earn their phone usage. Try a “one-to-one” chore to phone use ratio. If that seems too extreme, there’s a good chance that they are spending way too much time on their phones.

We hope you enjoyed this post from Phone Away. If it was helpful to you, feel free to pass it along to your friends and family. Together, we might just help one more person put their phone away.