Balancing Your Child's Use of Technology

One thing I’ve learned in my career as a mom is that much of parenting is a balancing act. One particular issue that can be tricky to navigate with kids is balancing their use of technology. Red Apple Reading has some suggestions that we think will help you achieve electronic equilibrium in your home!


Limit Screen Time – Does it seem like every time you turn around your kid is on the computer? It can be hard to managing technology time. Here’s a few ways to help curb the computer craze!

  • Set a Timer – Time flies when you’re having fun. If left to their own devices, children will spend endless hours in front of a screen. If you feel like you are constantly nagging your kiddo to get off the computer, let the timer be the bad guy. When the alarm goes off, the computer does as well!
  • Earn Screen Time – Another effective way to limit screen time is to have your child earn the privilege. For instance, for every chapter read, your kid could receive 10 minutes of screen time. If your little one has a hard time finishing her chores, offer 15 minutes of technology for each completed task.
  • Computer Curfew – When my oldest daughter was in middle school, I noticed that she was getting out of bed earlier and earlier to get online. To nip the problem in the bud (and make sure she was getting the sleep she needed) we told her no computer time before 9:00 a.m. If your kiddo is staying up too late because he has trouble “unplugging”, then put the computer “to bed” at an appropriate time each night.

Make it Count! – Another important piece in balancing technology is to ensure that time spent on screen is meaningful. There is no end to the different games, videos, and sites for children to peruse online. While they are plugged in, be sure to make it count!

  • Creativity – How creative is the content of your kiddo’s favorite game or website? Is your child watching countless mindless videos? Are the games he’s playing inspiring creativity? Be sure a substantial portion of your kid’s screen time inspires innovation.
  • Math – If you’re like me, you don’t consider solving math problems in your spare time to be much fun. Believe it or not, there are tons of fun educational math games for kids to play online. My son’s 4th grade math class recently participated in an online Kakooma tournament on Greg Tang Math and came in first place. They not only sharpened their math skills but had a good time in the process.
  • Coding – Computer coding or programming is growing in popularity even among children. Tech savvy kids are learning how to code and loving it! Check out this Edutopia article that lists 7 apps for teaching children computer coding.
  • Reading – Improving reading skills is one of the best uses of computer time. Of course, it may be possible that we at Red Apple Reading are a bit biased! We do think you’ll agree with us once you visit our website. Check out our free online trial today!