By: Nitasha Ali Mindful Tech Use: Being Present and Aware March 7, 2023School-Age (6-12 years) Technology has become an integral part of our lives, and children are no exception. With smartphones, tablets, laptops, and video games, children are spending more time than ever before staring at screens. As a result, they may become distracted, anxious, and disconnected from the world around them. However, it is possible to approach this situation differently. In this blog, we’ll explore creative and interesting ways to encourage kids to be more mindful and present while using technology. Create a Tech-Free Zone One of the best ways to encourage mindfulness is to set aside time and space without technology. Consider creating a “tech-free zone” in your home where your child can go to relax and be present. It could be a cozy corner of the living room or a designated space in their bedroom. Encourage your child to use this space to read, draw, or just be still and quiet. Use Mindful Apps There are numerous apps available that can help children practice mindfulness and focus. For example, the app “Stop, Breathe & Think Kids” teaches kids to identify and manage their emotions through guided meditation and breathing exercises. Another app, “Headspace for Kids,” provides daily meditation exercises that are age-appropriate and engaging. Set Limits and Boundaries While technology can be a useful tool, it’s essential to set limits and boundaries to prevent overuse. Consider setting a time limit for screen time each day and stick to it. Encourage your child to take breaks from technology throughout the day to engage in other activities, such as playing outside or reading a book. Encourage Mindful Gaming Video games can be a fun way for kids to relax and unwind, but they can also be a source of stress and distraction. Encourage your child to play games that promote mindfulness and relaxation, such as puzzle games or calming games that involve nature or animals. It’s also a good idea to monitor the types of games your child is playing and set age-appropriate limits. Model Mindful Behavior Children learn by example, so it’s essential to model mindful behavior yourself. Be mindful of your own technology use and set an example for your child. Make a conscious effort to put away your phone during meals or family time and engage with your child in meaningful conversations. Encouraging Mindful Technology Use in Children Technology is an integral part of our lives, and it’s not going away anytime soon. However, with a few simple strategies, we can encourage our children to be more mindful and present while using technology. By implementing designated areas without technological devices, employing mindfulness applications, establishing boundaries and time limits, promoting mindful engagement in gaming, and exemplifying mindful behavior, we can support our children in cultivating positive routines and fostering a deeper understanding and connection with their surroundings.