Yikes. We’ve all been there – peace and quiet being broken by the unleashing of the pint sized tech-obsessed tantrum monster. Windows shake, doors slam, empires fall…well, at least that’s what it feels like. Whilst it is somewhat reassuring to know that in this technology obsessed landscape, tech tantrums are a regular and normal part of a child’s existence, it is worthwhile knowing your child’s triggers, and what to do when the inevitable strikes.
Enforce Guidelines for Tech Time
Make sure that your child knows exactly what is expected of them before they pick up the device. Not only will this routine make tech time a regimented experience, but it will make your own life a little bit easier as well, taking the stress off of you. Forward planning is always the way to go in situations like this. Remember to remain consistent when enforcing your family media rules.
Empower your little one
Provide cues and reminders when time is about to lapse so your little one can prepare to transition away from their device. Give your child the role of switching the device off themselves when time does lapse. It is far more empowering to allow your child to take control and responsibility, as opposed to you taking the device directly from their hands.
Use a clock
Children are much less likely to talk back to a clock than their parents! This allows children to keep a track of the time themselves. It’s the perfect way to introduce time knowledge to your child’s education, if they are having trouble mastering it or just learning. Blame it on the clock, it works a treat.
Have the next activity ready to avoid a tantrum
Nothing spells the end of a brewing tantrum than having another exciting activity ready to jump into! Not only can this take the trauma out of the end of tech time, but it provides the perfect distraction for your child to refocus away from the screen and into something much more proactive. Just make sure it is something they enjoy. This can include:
- Outdoor time to let their eyes have a break
- Moving onto a more hands-on craft activity
- Helping out with chores
- Reading a book
- Pull out an age appropriate board game or puzzle
- Cooking! Have your little one lend a helping hand in the kitchen
For more information on taking tantrums out of tech time, head over to Dr Kristy’s website here.
Dr Kristy Goodwin is a leading children’s technology, learning and development expert, speaker and author. Her book Raising Your Child in a Digital World arms parents with essential research-based information and helpful ways to use technology. Ditch your techno-guilt for good!