Tips for Cutting Back on Screen Time
Although technology is great, children do need to spend less time on it. children who are of toddler and preschool school age need to spend less than an hour or two on a screen each day. There are many issues related to spending too much time on screens such as concentration issues, reduced sleep and weight gain.
That said, it is difficult however to reduce screen time if your children are used to or like to spend their free time using screens. However, you still need to try and limit screen time. Below we will provide you with some tips on how you can go about cutting back screen time.
● Use the technology available
There are many apps and programs that you can use to switch off smartphones and tablets after a specific amount of time.
● Keep screens in the shared areas of your home
If screen time is limited to shared areas in your home i.e. the living room or the kitchen, it is far easier to keep a lookout and what your children are playing, watching and the websites that there are visiting.
● Avoid giving your children they’re own smartphone or tablet
Don’t just hand your child an electronic device if they are at a loose end, instead try and do something where you interact with each other.
● Recycle/ donate old electronic devices.
Most households have old devices that have no use and you could consider recycling or donating these devices to limit the amount of technology you have in your home.
● Adjusting limits
As your children get older and into their teenage years, you could involve them in the decision-making when it comes to screen time limits. Just make sure whatever you decide as a family, you stick to.
● Reduce your own screen time
If you are always on your smartphone, then it makes sense as to why your children want to be on their electronic devices too. Spending too much time on your smartphone also reduces the amount of time that you spend with your children.
● Have limits in place
When it comes to screen time, you need to make sure that you have rules that you stick to and that these rules are clear. This way you don’t have to deal with arguments and confrontation when you ask your children to switch off their electronic device.
● Have screen-free time as part of your routine
Children usually know that there is a set time when screens need to be switched off, such as before bed or during meal times. As an extra, you can also have a designated time each week when as a family you do something together and all electronic devices are switched off.
● Think of new ways to have fun
If you don’t provide your children with opportunities to have fun then it’s no surprise that they are happy to sit in front of a screen. Make sure you have items such as bicycles, scooters, books, craft materials etc. to hand so that when your children tell you that they are bored and they have nothing to do, there are plenty of options readily available for them.