Top tips from caregivers
The California Partners Project engaged in a statewide listening tour with mothers, parents, and caregivers to understand how they are navigating the integration of technology and devices into most aspects of their children’s lives.
In conversation, caregivers shared both the struggles and strategies of parenting over the past year. Here are practical strategies shared during the listening tour by caregivers across California.
Tips to support healthier tech habits
Schedule tech-free time in your calendar.
Planning and setting aside tech-free time will promote more mindful usage of digital devices and set a positive example for youth. A mom in Oakland admitted, “When we are juggling we lose sight of the fact that we are on our screens and our phones.”
Remove devices from the bedroom at night.
This will help promote restorative sleep. A mom of two boys in the Conejo Valley said, “We lock down our son’s phone at 10 pm so no texts come throughout the night.”
Help kids connect with nature.
Many parents shared the power of taking a walk, hiking, camping, and surfing to encourage their kids to move their bodies, make time for conversation, and put down the devices. A mom of three in Oakland shared, “The public parks have been lifesaving for our mental health.” Another mom was relieved when her family went camping, “I felt like I had my kids back.”
Reward an hour of physical activity with an hour of tech time.
One mom in Santa Rosa allows her teenage son to have one hour of gaming for every hour of physical activity. “We are trying to find a balance, so he feels he has a say and he feels we are in a compromise.” The agreement motivates her son to exercise.