Do your kids stay up late doing who knows what on their phones? Solve the problem with a technology curfew. A technology curfew means that kids have to leave all of their tech devices—smart phones, tablets, and laptops—in their parent’s bedroom at a designated time, like an hour before bedtime.
The fact is, today’s kids are sleep deprived. They’re losing an hour or two of sleep each night just being on their phones. Then, after falling asleep, they’re often awakened by the pinging of text messages and notifications—which they feel compelled to respond. In addition, staring at a glowing screen right before sleep stops the release of the hormone melatonin, which helps you fall asleep and then stay asleep. Together, that leaves kids sleep deprived and sleep deprivation causes all kinds of problems like behavior problems, depression, anxiety, moodiness. and weight gain. That’s why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that no TV, video games, computers, or any type of electronics be allowed in the bedroom—even when they’re teenagers.
There’s also the issue of online safety. Law enforcement officials estimate that more than 50,000 sexual predators are online at any given moment. With all of the seedy dating apps, chat rooms, social media, and porn, it’s just too easy to get into trouble. And if you think your kids are safe because you have parental controls, think again. A quick Google search will teach kids dozens of ways to bypass parental settings.
A technology curfew will prevent a host of problems. Plus, it will give kids the opportunity to develop the love of reading before bed, or just have quiet time to think and dream. To learn more about technology guidelines for kids, read chapter 10 of Proactive Discipline.