When we were younger, we used to fight with our siblings over TV shows to watch. But now, kids have free reign when it comes to controlling their screen time. Why? Because most of the kids nowadays have their own gadgets. They can watch as many shows in as many screens as they can, whenever and wherever.
While it is true that technology brings about convenience and a slew of perks, kids can greatly benefit if they spend less time with their gizmos. Did you know that school-age kids should only spend two hours at most with a screen daily? This is so they can practice focus which is much needed in the classroom.
In addition to that, kids with limitless screen time are at risk of obesity and insomnia. Furthermore, they miss out on playing outside, making friends, and learning new things.
Having said that, we’d like to share with you the things that you can do to trim down your child’s exposure to screens.
How To Cut Back
With the abundance of screens, it is honestly difficult to cut back screen time. But let me tell you that the struggle of limiting them will be worth it. Take note of the tips below so you can finally separate them from their prized gadgets…no matter how fleetingly that may be.
1. Take the lead. Children take a cue from their parents so you need to set a good example. If they see you that you spend much time on your phone, kids will think that this behavior is okay so they will copy you. Instead of burying your face on your screen, try interacting with your kids.
Or better yet, you can show them that you are reading a book, or playing sports so that they will imitate you.
2. Don’t buy them gadgets. Cellphones and tablets are not supposed to be replacements for actual human interaction. They are not great babysitters either. Instead, talk to your kids and spend some time with them. Be involved with their lives and take an active interest in their hobbies.
3. Explain. Being a parent means that you need to make decisions that can and might make them hate you – limiting screen time, for instance. Explain to them why you are doing this and how this can help them in the future. Set clear and consistent rules so that the children know that you are serious in the implementation.
There will also be times when your children will question you. They will compare and wonder why their friends don’t have limits. You have to prepare for this as this is your chance to explain that your family’s values are different from theirs. Don’t get tired of explaining, too.
4. Put your TVs and computers in a public area. This will help you keep an eye on what they watch and play, and cut back their time if they have exceeded the allocated limit.
5. Let your kids get bored. This way, they will be more creative in thinking ways to cure their boredom. You can supply them with art materials, toys, or maybe teach them a few skills such as cooking. You’ll see that they will eventually stick to those activities than face the screen.
These are just a few of the many ways that you can do to limit your kid’s screen time. I know that this is easier said than done, but I assure you that this is a fight worth fighting. You just need to start it. Good luck.
Thanks for that guest post from Elkyra Park who is a first-time mom who can no longer count how many baby products she has reviewed for her sanity and her son’s sake. She discusses the realities of parenthood and how to gracefully cope with the struggles over at easyparentinghacks