Control of screens in summer, how to avoid the distancing in vacations

The holidays arrived and with them the free time for the children. How to occupy the hours that until not long ago were dedicated to the study? What are the hot afternoons spent on? Many young people choose to go to dispositives with Internet connection such as smartphones, tablets, computers or video games become the main distraction.

These activities can cause the distancing between the different members of the family and young people being submerged in this digital world. In this sense, summer can become the perfect time to teach the little ones to use these technologies in a correct way without forgetting the closeness of your family.

The smartphone

The high temperatures mean that young people can not spend so much time together with their friends and do activities to occupy the time. For this reason, many of them turn to their smartphones to interact through instant messaging applications or other tools such as online games, as well as viewing videos on streaming platforms.

Here are some tips for parents to teach a correct use of these technologies:

- Differentiate between need and abuse. Perhaps it is not wrong to arrange an appointment with your friends through the smartphone, but these platforms should not replace interpersonal relationships between friends.

- Limit its use. Parents should propose other activities that limit the use of the smartphone, such as a family reading afternoon.

- Prohibit its use in family gatherings. Taking advantage of summer and vacations many relatives take the opportunity to meet. In these encounters these screens should be left aside and interact among the relatives.

- In family trips, smartphones should be left aside and only used to take pictures or emergencies such as losing sight of their parents.

Video game

Video games are another distraction tool used by young people in this time of free time. These are some tips so that this leisure formula does not end up influencing interfamilial relationships:

- Know the PEGI system. Parents should know what product they are providing to their children and the content of the video game they play. The PEGI system helps to recognize this information just by looking at the cover.

- Do not use video consoles as a reward or punishment. Do not give up if the child has got good grades and allow more playing time with the game console.

- Limit the time of use. Even though the school year has ended, the video game console must continue to be used in a limited way.

- Use parental controls. The videoconsoles offer to install parental controls that allow the parents to exert a total control on the machine. It is also interesting to use tools such as passwords to prevent children from using these devices without their parents' permission.

- Encourage other forms of leisure. Is there a new movie that the children want to see? Accompanying them to the cinema is always a better leisure alternative.

Damián Montero

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