Modeling Digital Self-Care for Kids
Keeping families connected with a safe phone
Cell phones, including cell phones for kids, are a lot like power tools: Both can be used to build or to demolish.
The kind of tech use modeled by a parent is ultimately what a child will perceive as ordinary, healthy behavior.
Are you sending emails from your phone at the dinner table?
Are you posting pics on social media while your toddler plays by themself?
Are you taking a phone call during school pickup instead of asking your child about their day?
The greatest thing a kid can learn from their parents about tech use is how to strike a healthy balance with screen time. For parents and children alike, the need for digital self-care is essential for overall well-being.
What is digital self-care?
Digital self-care is how we re-center our focus and maintain a healthy, balanced relationship with technology. You can think of digital self-care like other self-care routines–a spa treatment, nature walk, or journal entry–but for your tech habits.
As kids grow in this tech-obsessed world, they need to observe proper screen habits that promote mental and emotional health. As parents, it is our responsibility to maintain our tech-health and instill those habits of digital self-care in our kids.
Here are some examples of self-care habits for our daily tech use:
Be Present at Home (Mindful Tech Use)
It’s easy to bring work and school back home with us. But as soon as we walk through that front door, it is important to designate home time for family.
Don’t let the phone in your pocket or the tablet on the table distract you. Instead, designate a space in the house for everyone to turn in their devices. Out of sight, out of mind.
With all mobile tech stored in a designated place, families can eat dinner or enjoy quality time without being pulled away by notifications or incoming texts.
Stick to this digital self-care routine in the home, and notice the positive impact it can make over time on your family.
Audit Your Social Media
Do you find yourself browsing through the social media pages of people you follow and start to compare?
Do you feel jealous of their most recent trip to Italy or feel guilty that they exercise more than you do? That influencer makes whole-food home lunches for their kids every day, but you might not. Does this make you feel guilty?
Comparing ourselves to filtered posts and highlights on social media can be destructive to our well-being. Do yourself and your kids a favor by modeling this practice: take some time to go through the lists of those you follow on social media and ask yourself:
Do you find yourself comparing yourself to any of the influencers or friends on those lists? Does following their feed make you feel less happy about yourself?
If so, it’s likely time to unfollow. Don’t allow outside influences into your life that evoke negative thoughts and emotions in you. Keep the list of accounts you follow short, including only ones that make you smile and encourage you to be your best self.
This self-care practice will reflect in your self-image and self-contentment. While this is healthy for you, it is also important for children to observe self-care in their parents. From this modeling, they learn to treat themselves with care and respect.
Even at an early age, kids can practice self-love and limit their time on social media. Devices made especially for kids, like Gabb Wireless, come free of any social media apps. Without the comparison culture and self-image issues that often come from social apps, kids can keep a healthy sense of confidence while navigating their tech habits.
Audit Your Apps
Do you know how much time you spend on certain apps every day? The reality can be pretty shocking. And it may not be the type of consistent behavior you want to model to your kids.
As a digital self-care routine, commit to an app fast. Remove addictive apps from your devices for at least three days. Remind yourself how much time you can regain, and enjoy the more rewarding things you can do with your time.
Digital self-care means balance, not dependency. Use this practice to keep your tech habits in check. Your kids will observe a beneficial balance in time spent in front of a screen, and you will avoid addiction to your apps. It’s a win-win.
Parents can avoid the struggle with their kids over excessive app use altogether. Gabb phones are programmed to include only essential apps and features. With Gabb, families can enjoy the connection without the added distraction of additional addictive apps or app stores.
Healthy Tech Habits = Happy Life
These regular self-care practices will help you create a more balanced relationship with tech. In turn, your kids will observe your behavior and develop those same healthy habits. When you take care of yourself and promote digital self-care for your kids, you promote good health outcomes and balanced living for the whole family.
Gabb Wireless is dedicated to protecting kids and helping families build and maintain healthy tech habits. Find Gabb products, read about the Gabb mission, and access additional Gabb resources here.
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