Most of you must have different perceptions of well-being. While for some wellness is connected to a state where a person is free of any physical illness or deformity, others know that mental health is not an ounce less crucial than physical. But, do you also consider digital wellness as a part of overall well-being?
An individual’s overall wellness is affected by their day-to-day physical and emotional experiences. Since the internet and technology have become such an enormous part of everyone’s daily schedule, it often affects a person’s overall wellbeing. What’s true of adults is also apt for children. In fact, because of their immaturity and inability to make better digital decisions, kids struggle more to stay healthy digitally.
To understand my point better, I would suggest you first get familiar with the word digital wellness.
What Is Digital Wellness?
Digital Wellness, often called digital well-being or digital health, is the pursuit of using technology in a way that does not detract a person from their physical or mental health. Now that all our everyday activities revolve around the internet and technology, it has become crucial than ever for parents to promote digital wellness for their children. One thing you should not misinterpret is that technology is entirely beneficial or detrimental for your children. If truth be told, it’s their technology use that determines whether the digital world will benefit them or prove to be harmful.
Why Is Digital Wellness Important For Children?
When you hear your kid coughing or sneezing, you hand over antibiotics to them. Right?
Then, why do parents often ignore the clear signs of digital illness? It goes without saying that inappropriate technology use can affect a child in innumerable ways. Some of the examples include:-
- Stimulate health issues in children.
- Reduces their sleep quality.
- Instigate relationship and social skills issues.
- Your child can become a victim of online harassment such as cyber flashing.
However, technology is not all bad. If used right, the digital world can also benefit your little one in below mentioned ways:-
- Enhances learning.
- Fosters problem-solving skills.
- Develop future technological leadership skills.
- Enhances creativity and imagination.
The ‘balance’ is all one should seek to benefit from the internet. Parents should know when it is time to detach children from technology or when using the same technology to teach an important life lesson to kids.
Here is our guide to help you maintain this balance in your children’s life.
Strategies To Promote Digital Wellbeing In Your Kids
Here are a few strategies you can use to promote digital wellbeing in your children.
Educate them right about the digital world
Alexander Pope truly said, “ A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” Why I am saying this is because your kids know that all these social media apps will help them stay connected to their friends and family, but often ignore the fact that social media’s over or inapt use can deteriorate their mental health. It is your responsibility to make them aware of every aspect of the digital world and encourage healthy online etiquette.
Make a virtual fence
There is nothing wrong with being a little tough if you want to promote the right habit. Set tech and internet fences around the children. Start slow like not allowing digital devices in the bedroom or on the dinner table. And, when you know your kids are ready, select a day in a week where your whole family is on a digital detox.
Encourage them to mute notifications
Trust me when I say that your kids don’t need to be notified of every single thing happening in this world. Maybe notifications are designed to drive engagement, but, in reality, they are just driving restlessness and anxiety in your children. Encourage your kids to turn off notifications of apps in order to not get distracted.
Set appropriate and necessary time limits
With remote learning turning into a new normal, it will not be practical to keep children completely away from screens. However, it doesn’t mean that you should do nothing to promote healthy internet use. It is okay for your children to spend an hour a day on Khan Academy, but if they spend that hour scrolling through Instagram, it may affect their mental health significantly.
I know what you are thinking. How can we do that? Considering how obstinate teens and tweens are, there are strong chances that they will not take your verbal warnings seriously. However, parental controls can help you achieve your goals. Reliable parental control apps like Bit Guardian Parental Control can set appropriate time limits on individual apps as per your need. It can also block your child’s phone at dinner or bedtime to promote digital wellness and a healthy lifestyle.
Practice appropriate digital behavior in your own lives first if you want your children to follow suit. After all, kids learn from their parents, right?
The digital world should be used to enhance and simplify kids’ lives rather than be a reason for their worry. Like I said earlier, the balance is all you need to seek to promote digital wellness. I hope this guide will help you in getting and maintaining this balance and being more mindful of how digitally healthy your children are.