Power Down

If you're thinking about powering down your household here are my top 10 tips to do so!  

1. Check which apps you/your children spend the most time on.  For example on an iPhone you can go to settings>battery.  Have a look at how many hours are spent on average on the device and then check the most used apps.  Now delete them.  You don't need them.  If its Facebook delete the app, you can check it from the main computer when necessary, you don't need to be scrolling it in bed.

2.  Clean up your devices.  Upload photos to the cloud and delete them off your phone.  Clean the home screen and put any apps you do need in a folder on page 2.  Close any open browsing windows.  

3.  Turn off colour and put everything in greyscale.  

4.  Put devices on silent if ringtone is unnecessary and turn off vibrate, flashing lights, fancy ringtones or anything attractive but unnecessary.  

5.  Turn off all notifications.  You don't need to know if Fred has added to his Instagram story for the sixth time today and your kids don't need to know if their imaginary dog, Hank, is hungry.  

6.  Provide more interesting options.  Dig out that old box of Lego, pump up the tyres on the bike or hang a new swing from the tree.

7.  Model good behaviour.  Two year-olds don't want to scroll your iPhone because they want to see the latest Trump meme, they simply want your phone because you want your phone.  

8.  Create tech free zones.  A good place to start is no devices at the dinner table (quality family time) or in the bedroom (quality sleep time).

9.  Set tech free times.  Perhaps no devices for the first and last hour of each day.  Allowing everyone to wake up without feeling dependent on their device (that means no using devices to set wake up alarms) or go to sleep with it.  Your phone shouldn't be the first thing you see in the morning or the last thing you think about at night.

10.  Set up parental controls.  We can't watch our kids all the time so if you have decided no devices after 7pm then set the devices to automatically switch off at 7pm.  

Remember the idea here is to make these devices as unattractive as possible. This same idea can apply to all screens.  If TV is becoming addictive in your household then delete Netflix, Disney or whatever the main drawcard is.  If need be, switch off your modem.  

Then enjoy listening to your 8 year-old recount their day with minute-to-minute detail, watch your kids work together to build a 10-storey block tower and think of ways to spend your extra time.  A new book perhaps?

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