Photo of Carina's children getting ready for a unicorn-themed Zoom birthday party.
Lockdown 3 has reminded us again how important it is to be online when we cannot meet up in person. However, just like the food we eat, we need balance online too. It is also important to make sure you are looking after your mental health as well as that of your child by being balanced with your online activity. Here are 3 tips for you to help you manage your digital lifestyle.
1. FOLLOW RELIABLE NEWS
Right now reading the news and updates on the pandemic and other changes like Brexit can be essential. However, we can do some things to make sure we did not feel overwhelmed:
- Make sure you are getting your news from trust-worthy news organisations like the BBC or The Guardian and that guidelines on Covid-19 are from the NHS or official government websites.
- If your friends forward you news on Whatsapp, do not assume that it is accurate, always refer back to those reliable news sites.
- The same goes for anything you plan to share online, ‘think before you share’:
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Also…not ALL news is BAD news… Check out https://www.positive.news/ for inspiring daily stories to uplift your spirit!
2. LESS SCREEN TIME
If you feel overwhelmed by the news:
- You can take a step back and reduce the amount you read, there is no need to be constantly checking for updates.
- Turn your phone off when you go to sleep and avoid looking at it first thing in the morning.
- If you are keen to cut down your screentime you and your family can pledge to ‘SCREEN FREE SATURDAYS”. Find out more and take the pledge here: https://www.screenfree.org/saturdays/
- You can set your own ‘healthy’ number of updates, such as every 2 days, or once a week.
If you have a smartphone you can manage your screen time through your settings.
Apple > Settings > Screentime
Android > Settings > Digital Wellbeing
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3. SUPPORT YOUR CHILDRENS’ DEVELOPMENT
Did you know it is important to create strictly tech-free moments with your kids, for example at mealtime? It is also very important that you limit your baby’s screen exposure:
- Use of screens by babies can delay their speech and language development
- When babies use screens, it can be harder for them to learn how to soothe themselves.
You can learn more about this with tips from the AAP’s BE TECH WISE WITH BABY guidance: https://screentimenetwork.org/resource/be-tech-wise-baby?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=e8f9f7fa-a945-4169-8b87-1d8a09c6d642 also available in Spanish here.
Teaching children about balance online can be challenging. Luckily ‘Common Sense’ have created a whole course for kids to learn about being safe and sensible online. They even have songs and activities for different age groups which you can check out here:
If you need more advice about Digital Wellbeing or getting online generally, please get in touch with us by calling or sending a message to Ellie: 07904 804695 or e-mail on [email protected]