We are all very aware that this generation of children is spending an increasing amount of time in front of screens. Whether it’s smartphones, TV’s, computers or tablets, the bottom line is that all screens can have the same kinds of negative effects on our children.
Being aware that kids are spending a large amount of time staring at screens, not many of us know exactly how much time. More importantly, not many are aware of how to limit it.
Getting kids involved in extra-curricular activities is another great way to keep them off their screens and active.
Clever Ways to Limit Screen Time
Be a Screen Time Role Model
Setting healthy screen time boundaries and limitations starts with your behavior. Limit the amount of time you spend staring at a screen, as they are clearly watching you.
Be Tech Savvy
Most children these days, know more about their devices than their parents do. Therefore, it’s necessary to stay up to date on the latest apps and social media crazes. You can’t teach your child about the risks associated with too much screen time if you don’t understand them yourself.
Set Tech-Free Zones
Establish areas in your home that electronics are not allowed in. Areas like the dinner table should be designated tech-free areas as they should be used for family meals and conversation.
Set Time Aside Each Day To Unplug
Have time set aside each day for the entire family to unplug and turn off their devices. This will ensure that you and your children get quality time together without the distraction of video games, computers or TV. Get outside, enjoy nature. Did you know that being outside is good for you? Seems logical but science has proven being outside is good for your health and happiness.
Use Parental Controls
Some parental controls allow for you to put time limits of devices. This is fantastic because it takes the guesswork out of how much time they are spending on their tech. When their time limit is up, the device will no longer work, encouraging them to go do something else with their time.
Schedule Other Activities
Children easily become dependant on technology and screen time for entertainment purposes. Schedule your children in for activities that have absolutely nothing to do with a screen. Have them choose an extracurricular activity, encourage them to go outside and play, read a book with them or play a board game. There are so many fun things to do outside the world of screens, show them that. Check out these suggestions for parental controls for ipad and iphone.
Make Screen Time a Privilege
Screen time should ultimately be treated as a privilege, not a right. If your children want to use their devices, have them earn that time by doing chores, participating in other activities first and making sure that they stick to their daily limit.
There are many ways to limit the time your children spend on screens. Remember though, if you want them to abide by limits, it’s a good idea to be a positive role model and not indulge in too much screen time yourself.
Have a great tip for screen time? Let us know in the comments below.