10 tips for educating (succeeding) in a world full of screens

The first few months of school are a good time for families and teachers to think about how they would like their children’s or students’ relationship with screens to be. And for this it is essential that adults are trained in the issues related to the use of devices. And it is that technology and the digital environment can be a great opportunity to educate. Next, María José Abad offers ten keys to educating children and adolescents in a world full of screens.

Tips for taking care of students’ digital health

In the book ‘Emillerados. How to successfully educate your children in a world full of screens” (of which María José is the coordinator) brings together everything that has been learned over the past 5 years on Emprogramados.com, a non-profit platform that aims to help families accompany the little ones in the digital world. Abad offers 10 tips for taking care of digital health and which are included in said manual:

1. Go forward. Prevention is the key to success. Visualize how you would like your children’s relationship with screens to be and practice what you think contributes to it. For example: creating a “family digital plan” can help. Here are the steps to create it:

  • Think about how each member of the family uses screens.
  • Make a diagnosis and put some goals that can be shared somewhere visible to everyone (like the fridge at home).

of them. Win the battle without resorting to confrontation. Instead of telling them “no”, it is recommended to create alternative activities and help them discover their hobbies and talents. Take it like a long-distance race: changing your habits has never been easy.

3. Screens can be an excellent ally. The important thing is to use them for a purpose, to define when and for what to use them. For example: through video tutorials on cooking recipes, music…

4. More than screen time, think about what you’re not doing with the kids. This approach is used to diagnose whether there is a balanced use of the screens. It is also essential that these do not interrupt the hours of sleep (the mobile must be left outside the bedroom). Something that can help this “screen parking” or assigning a basket or box where devices “sleep”.

5. Open new horizons. “Everything Now” children must cultivate their patience with activities that require short, medium and long-term goals (sports championships, playing an instrument, reading, etc.). Also, if possible, that they make them leave their world as tasks to help others appropriate to their age, volunteering…).

6. Healthy self-esteem is one of the best gifts you can give children. It is closely related to imperfect happiness: knowing that you can’t always have everything; enjoy and be grateful, besides being very useful to avoid comparisons.

seven. Write down on a piece of paper what you want to leave as a “legacy”. What subjects, as an adult, would you like to talk to them about: love and sexuality, the importance of working well, respect for others, where to recharge your batteries and find peace in everyday life…

8. Self-assessment of the use of screens. App usage stats can be a clue to how much time you spend on screens as an adult. Turning off notifications or trying to have screen “detox” times at certain times of the day or on weekends are other self-assessment options.

self-assessment screens

9. Lead by example. It is important to identify the “time thieves”. That they do not prevent having one-on-one conversations with the children or with the couple.

10. Stop, think, ask for help and start again. Nothing is final in this life, so do not despair!

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