Although allowing your child to play with electronics for as long as they like might keep them quiet, too much screen time isn’t healthy for them. But, trying to set limits on how many video games they play or how much TV they watch isn’t always simple in this modern world. Below are some of our top tips to help you limit the amount of kids screen time to a healthy, reasonable amount:
7 tips to limit kids screen time –
1. Model Good Electronic Use
It’s a good idea to be a good role model for your children. Most children look up to their parents and copy their habits and behavior, so it’s important that you model healthy electronic use. Before watching your favorite programs on Netflix, remember that you need to set a good example. Scrolling through your phone or keeping the TV on all day for a bit of background noise will teach your child bad habits.
2. Create Technology Free Zones
Establish areas in your house where you don’t allow electronics, like laptops or smartphones. For example, the playroom can be a brilliant technology-free zone, which is reserved for family time and playing with toys. Provide your children with other things to play with like these Nendoroids for Overwatch fans. Keeping your children busy with other things will take their mind off the lack of technology.
3. Educate Yourself
Modern kids are tech-savvy. Most children know more about the electronic gadgets they are using than their parents, which is why it’s crucial that you stay up to date on the newest social media crazes and cell phone apps.
If you don’t understand the problems with social media, then you can’t advise your children about them. Likewise, you can’t stop your children from playing inappropriate games if you don’t know what the guidance is on them. It’s important that you learn about the different types of technology your child is using and what effect it has on them.
Set times during the day when technology isn’t allowed. For example, an hour before bedtime or the dinner hour is the perfect time for the whole family to put their technology down and spend some quality time together. You could also consider completing a longer digital detox.
5. Use Parental Controls
Setting parental controls on technology is a brilliant way to protect your children from explicit content online and on TV. Many parental controls allow you to monitor what your child is doing or watching online.
6. Talk to Your Children About Their Screen Time
Kids who are taught that it’s not healthy to spend too long on technology are less likely to break the rules compared to kids who think you’re taking it off them to be mean. In an age-appropriate way, you should explain to them how movies, images, and violent video games can be harmful to kids. You should also talk to them about online dangers such as predators. Discuss with your children how you can work together to reduce these risks. The more involved they feel, the more likely they are to follow them. Also read, Effects of technology on kids.
7. Ask Your Child for Their Passwords
Depending on your values and your child’s age, it might be a good idea to ask your child for their login details to any online or social media accounts. It’s a good idea to have rules about what your child can do online and what they can’t. Most children aren’t mature enough to handle any problems they encounter online e.g. cyberbullying. It’s important that you work with your child to keep them safe.
In today’s technological era, it’s hard to try and come up with a balance. Once you’ve done your research, you should talk to your child about why you are limiting the amount of time they spend online. The more you talk to your child, the more likely they are to listen to your rules and know why you’re implementing them. I hope you try out these tips to limit kids screen time and also share any tips you have in the comments below.