Easy Ways to Unplug Your Tween

Technology should take a back seat every now and then

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There are times when your child should disconnect from technology. iStockphoto.com

Today's tweens are wired in a big way. From the time they were born they were playing on computers, texting and interacting online. While there's no getting away from an online presence, you do have to make sure that your child knows how to unplug from technology, and enjoy the time away from it. Be sure you take measures to limit your child's exposure to technology, just as you would any other influence.

Below are some easy ways to help your tween unplug and learn how to temporarily live without those devices.

Help Your Tween Unplug

Cut Down Yourself: One of the best ways to encourage your tween to maintain a balance between online life and and unplugged life is to cut down on your own online use. Be sure you show your tween that you can go without checking email every few minutes, or constantly texting. Turn your phone off during dinner, or during family hour, and resist the urge to constantly check your social media pages and favorite websites. 

Establish Techonogy-Free Zones: Be sure you have spaces in your home that are technology free where your tween can go to read, create or even nap. Encourage your child to use these spaces when he's home alone, or even when friends are over. Just be sure you make it clear that when your child or anyone uses these spaces he leave their devices in another room.

 

Balance Technology with Other Activities: If you really want your tween to cut down on his online life you'll probably have to create a schedule and be determined to stick with it. With your tween, establish a calendar so that you include all activities, homework and other obligations, as well as time free from cell phones, televisions, computers, tablets or any other technology devices.

Color code these times so that it's easy for your tween to follow the agenda. Be sure you stick with the calendar, and reward your child for sticking with it as well. 

Bury Your Phones/Tablets: If you or your child has trouble keeping with a technology-free calendar, you may have to get a bit more serious. If necessary, gather up your devices and bury them in a closet, trunk or even in your car. Sometimes out of sight means out of mind. Find a system that works for you and your tween, and keep up with it. 

Shut Down WiFi After Hours: If your tween can't disconnect from the wifi you may have to shut it off. You can even determine preset times that you may want your wifi to turn off, such as after home work is done for the day. Look into your options with your wifi provider, and see what might work best for you and your tween. 

Keep Your Tween Busy: Tweens may turn to technology when they are bored and there is nothing else to do. Be sure your tween maintains a schedule that includes sports, creative pursuits or other activities outside of school.

Find your tween's passion and help him use his creative energy learning something new. Your tween might also consider babysitting, volunteering, or taking a class in a subject not offered at school, such as photography or archery

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