Here's how families can celebrate digital wellness this holiday season

Grace Macej 7 Dec 2020

Find a balance between daily life and screen time with these five tips

There’s no doubt that Covid-19 has had a huge impact on all of our lives this year, including the lives of our families. When the pandemic spread, most of the world was met with strict lockdowns to shelter at home, which has resulted in a dramatic increase of our daily screen time with digital devices. Parents found themselves working remotely and having video conference calls for meetings, while children found themselves in front of e-learning tools as schools opened back up virtually. 

Further reading:
Getting a handle on working and learning from home
Zooms dropping out? 4 tips to boost your home Wi-Fi

Now, with the end-of-year holidays right around the corner, schools and offices closing, and many of us heading back into a lockdown, device usage and screen time will again be on the rise. However, this time around, families can better embrace digital wellness by finding a balance between daily life and daily screen time with these five tips.

Tip #1: Stay informed about your children’s digital activity

Parents can be sensible about the type of digital content children are consuming. Understanding their children’s online activity can help keep them safe — not all screen time should be seen as the same. Screen time spent on schoolwork or education should be valued more than screen time spent on gaming apps or social media apps. 

Tip #2: Prioritize transparency

Be upfront about boundaries and expectations. In today’s digital world, it’s important to discuss what types of activities and content are appropriate and for how long children can expect to spend on each. Setting and adhering to boundaries can develop healthy habits that can benefit children for a lifetime, even when they grow up to be adults. 

Tip #3: Establish a healthy reward system

Use screen time as a currency for healthy behavior. Positive reinforcement can come in the form of screen time - rather than taking away screen time as a form of punishment, parents can grant additional recreational screen time to children for completing chores early or being on a positive streak of staying within set boundaries. 

Tip #4: Keep an eye out for digital predators

Parents can take interest in the child’s digital activities to better protect and guide their child out of dangerous situations, such as cyberbullying or online predators. Keeping a transparent and honest line of communication is crucial for staying in the know and being able to respond timely and appropriately when dangerous situations arise in a digital environment.  

Tip #5: Ensure balance

Parents can monitor screen time before bedtime to ensure children are getting enough hours of sleep. As we all know, even for adults, spending too much time on our devices can negatively impact the quality and amount of sleep we get. Consider setting quiet hours to avoid device usage before bedtime for all members of your family. 

While the tips mentioned above are great starting points to balance your family’s digital life, there are also many tools for parents to leverage. Let’s face it — being a parent in a connected world is challenging (especially with an ongoing pandemic) and time consuming. Avast Family Space is a digital wellness app to help parents keep their families safe both online and offline. It comes with advanced content filters, screen time and location tracking features and is available for iOS and Android devices. 

What's more, businesses interested in helping their customers manage their digital-life balance can partner with Avast Smart Life, our AI-driven security and digital wellness platform designed for enterprise-level integrations with partners.

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