Professor advises parents on how to avoid “tech tantrums”

Professor advises parents on how to avoid “tech tantrums”

Curtin University Professor Leon Straker is offering parents advice on how to get children away from screens.

A professor at Curtin University has offered advice to parents to get their children away from screens while avoiding potential “tech tantrums” in the process.

“Getting children to stop any activity they are enjoying can be challenging and more so in the case of technology because devices can be highly engaging, with developers and media designers actively working to keep children connected,” Professor Leon Straker from the Curtin School of Allied Health said.

“Our research team engaged with a group of parents to identify the three best ways to move children off technology:

Give advanced warning and let children know when their time will end, rather than suddenly taking their device away.

Telling them what other activity will follow is also helpful.

Use children’s interest in what they are watching to help them move to a non-digital activity. For example, if your child has been watching Bluey you could invite them to complete a Bluey puzzle, or role play some Bluey games.

Because many aspects of children’s lives are managed for them, it is powerful to give children some choice in their lives when you can, such as by asking ‘would you like to watch two or four episodes of this show?’ or ‘would you like to start the timer to let you know when your time is up?’

These strategies help children feel like they have some choice about how they long they will use technologies and will makes them more accepting of the situation.”