‘Digital bans for kids DON’T work’: Expert says parents should find a way to balance ‘screen time with green time’ instead of cutting their children off from devices
- Dr Kristy Goodwin doesn’t believes children should be banned from technology
- The expert says cutting kids completely off can set up a binge and purge cycle
- She believes it’s important for parents to balance screen time with green time
Many parents are familiar with the problem of making sure their kids don’t spend all their free time glued to their screens.
But keeping tech use in check isn’t as straightforward as banning devices, according to digital parenting expert Dr Kristy Goodwin.
Speaking on Sunrise, Dr Goodwin said the problem with cutting kids off from their screens was that it could lead to a binge-purge cycle – and drive behaviour underground.
‘You might ban it at your house but they very soon realise which friends’ houses they can visit to get their digital dose. So banning doesn’t work,’ she said.
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Dr Goodwin believes it is unrealistic to forbid devices during the school breaks – rather it’s a case of ‘taming technology’ (stock image)
Digital parenting expert Dr Kristy Goodwin (pictured) said keeping technology use in check wasn’t as simple as banning devices outright
How to manage technology at home
*Set limits and establish boundaries
* Check parental controls
* Resist the urge to rely on tech to manage boredom
* Consider whether young kids really need their own devices
* Create tech-free time in the home
‘Digital abstinence isn’t the solution,’ she added.
With some Australian states about to head into school holidays, the issue of kids and technology is one that becomes all too apparent.
But Dr Goodwin believes it is unrealistic to forbid devices during the breaks – rather it’s a case of ‘taming technology’.
She said it’s important for parents to ‘balance screen time with green time’ in order to make sure children had time away from their devices.
While boredom might be claimed as a problem, Dr Goodwin said parents shouldn’t worry too much as it was okay for kids to experience this from time to time.
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‘Handing over the digital pacifier, whilst it can work at times, it shouldn’t be our default mechanism,’ she said.
While kids might claim they’re bored without their devices, Dr Goodwin said it’s okay for children to experience this from time to time (stock image)
Dr Goodwin also said she doesn’t have a particular yardstick to measure what is the right amount of time that kids should spend on screens.
More she takes into account when children are on their devices (whether this was before sleep or school) and what they’re doing on them.
She said it was important for parents to be aware of a child’s screen habits to make sure they weren’t doing anything that could derail their health or wellbeing.
Parenting expert Dr Justin Coulson also believes parents need to strike a better balance between kids and technology.
He said it’s not practical to ban tech as it’s as much a part of kids’ lives as it is adults.
His view is that’s it’s not a question of necessarily taking a hard line with screen use, more its about finding constructive ways of managing a child’s time.
‘We live in a screen-saturated world. I would recommend that we put together a list of all the stuff that needs to be done before screens,’ he said.
‘And once that’s been done, and done properly, it’s okay to let kids have a bit of screen-time.’
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