Screen time is a hotly contested topic in many homes. It has been repeated many times that it’s good to limit the length of time spent by children on digital screens in order to ensure that they develop as they should. With this in mind, there are things you can do to successfully limit your kid’s screen time. Read on for our four top tips for limiting your child’s screen time.
1. Lead by Example
By now, you no doubt know that children learn more by watching what their parents and guardians do than by simply being given instructions. For this reason, it’s important that you model good screen behavior for your children by spending less time in front of the screen yourself. This way, you will have an easier time getting them to put down their mobile devices and turn the TV off. You will also be better placed to come up with fun and productive activities for them when you have your hands free yourself.
2. Introduce “No-Technology” Zones
Map out your house and establish areas where no electronics are allowed. This may be the dinner table, the kitchen, or even the bedrooms. When you do this, your children will know that they can only use these spaces without electronic devices, helping them develop healthy habits which they will hopefully stick with for life. Having areas in which no devices are allowed will leave room for other activities, as well as helping you all develop a stronger bond as a family.
3. Be Reasonable
When setting the screen time rules, talk with your children and discuss the rules you are about to set, also letting them know the reasons why. When they know exactly why they need to spend less time with their electronic devices, it may not make it more fun for them, but it will help you come up against less resistance. Involve your children in the process and listen to them, but remember to be the parent and don’t be swayed to make unreasonable decisions. Allow them some time to catch a show that they absolutely don’t want to miss, for instance, and they will comply when they have to hand you their devices or turn them off.
4. Learn About Electronics Yourself
New electronic devices are being introduced every single day, as well as social media platforms and games. You cannot effectively communicate the dangers of something you don’t know well yourself to your children, which is why you need to make sure you’re well informed. Keep up with the trends to make sure that you know all potential risks and are able to communicate them to your children. This is much better than simply telling them that they need to stop using electronic devices, especially at this point in time when schools have been forced to take up online learning.