In this challenging time of restrictions, I thought some encouragement is needed for young families. Over the coming weeks, I am going to write about some parenting tips that will encourage everyone. Some of you will already be doing this successfully, while others may enjoy some encouragement along the way. Others may look back and fondly remember, now that their kids have grown up. Be reassured, I’m no expert however, my wife and I have navigated these challenges with our own children. And they survived.

The screen time dilemma

Sometimes it seems like kids spend all their time in front of the TV or on a smartphone or on the computer. You might even feel like banning technology from your house. That’s your choice. But for most parents, the reality is that we need to adapt. We need to help our kids lead a balanced life.

Children can benefit from age-appropriate technology. Watching TV or playing on the computer can be fun, entertaining and a good way to relax. And there are many programs, games and apps that are educational and can help your child’s learning.

But if children spend too much time in front of a screen they will miss out on other important activities. Things, like playing outdoors, talking to friends and reading, are all vital for kids.

So how can you strike the right balance in your house?

Start by learning about what technology is around. You can do your own research and talk to your children and other parents. Think about what is good about each device. And think about what you will need to limit or manage, based on your child’s age.

It’s also a good idea to put some rules in place. Let your kids know what they are allowed to use and when they can use it. Discuss this as a family so that your kids can have a say also.

Until next time…. Have a great day.

Geoff Harrison. Australind Baptist Church. Chaplain.