Create healthier screen time habits for the whole family.
Technology has been woven into many aspects of our lives, for better or worse. We use it to entertain us, to inform us, and to connect us from afar. But we all know that too much screen time can have a negative impact on our mental and emotional health, no matter what your age. We asked parents like you about their family’s digital wellness and it’s clear that many of us can use a reset. Find out what they’re saying in the video below.
Want to be more mindful of your family’s screen time use? Circle can help with features like Pause, Focus, and Bedtime, which automatically give your family digital breaks throughout the day. We also dug into our story archives for tips on building a healthier relationship with your devices.
Set healthy boundaries
Too much screen time is a habit to be kicked, just as you would any unhealthy habit such as overeating or smoking. Be mindful of mindless scrolling or digital distractions and schedule downtime throughout the day. Turn off devices and/or notifications while kids are doing homework, while you are eating together as a family, while having a conversation or watching a movie together. Focusing on the task at hand and the people you love will help you reset on what matters most this new year.
Teach kids to self-regulate.
As parents, we teach kids to make healthier choices when it comes to diet and exercise, even study habits. Modern parenting means teaching healthy screen time habits too. Mentor kids on how to make responsible choices when using their devices, such using the same etiquette they would in real life and choosing quality content.
Kick the doomscrolling habit.
We all want to stay informed, but constant scrolling of the latest headlines can take a toll on our mental health. In fact, research shows that people who consume gloom-and-doom media are more likely to experience anxiety, depression, or even post-traumatic stress compared to those who choose to limit their exposure. Avoid what is known as doomscrolling; balance news with lighter content; and take digital breaks throughout the day, even try a digital detox day one day a week.
Protect your family’s eyes.
Digital wellness also means paying attention to your physical health. Too much screen time can impact your family’s eye health too. Computer vision syndrome can result from overexposure to the blue light emitted from our screens. Symptoms include strained vision, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, and neck and shoulder pain. Blue light blockers can help as well as taking frequent breaks, eating eye-healthy foods, and getting outside.
Block inappropriate content.
The Internet is a bit of a digital Wild West without parental controls. Learn how Circle can help you block inappropriate websites on your iPhone and what to do if your kids are exposed to something that scares them or they don’t understand.
Take a break from social media.
The effects of too much time on social media can do serious damage on a young person’s self esteem. Unrealistic portrayals and cyberbullying can contribute to negative self worth and poor mental health. Set the standard at home by limiting social media exposure, talking about it, and modeling positive self-talk at home.
Schedule more time as a family.
Rain or shine, get outside! From home to the backyard to around town and on the road, here are simple ideas to have tech-free time with your brood. And reconnect with your partner by disconnecting from your devices, especially at bedtime.
Get better sleep.
Devices and bedtime don’t mix and kids are losing sleep over it, literally. Find ways to keep devices out of the bedroom so kids (and parents) get to bed on time. Log off at least an hour before bedtime and create a station in a common area for charging devices overnight. You’ll avoid the temptation to check texts or respond to notifications past bedtime. Circle’s Bedtime feature can also help you hit snooze on all devices throughout the house at the same time every night so you all get a restful sleep.
Learn more about how Circle can support your family’s digital wellness.