In a world where there are so many devices right at our fingertips, it can be difficult for us to manage screen time. During this past year of the pandemic, it has been especially hard for many people to control their screen time use. It’s also hard for kids in this technology-dependent landscape. While us parents know that too much screen time can be harmful for our child’s health, we may not know the best way to limit their screen time. This post will give five tips to help your child manage screen time.
1- Explain Why You’re Limiting Screen Time
It can help to give our kids an explanation as to why we’re limiting screen time, so that they don’t think we’re being “mean” or “unfair.” We can explain how screen time is a privilege and not something that is meant to be consumed all of the time, because it can have long-term negative effects on our mental and physical health. It may also help to explain why certain types of content need to be monitored to be age-appropriate for our kids.
2- Model Healthy Media Use
Our kids look to us as role models. We also should set a healthy example of screen time use. Watch out for time when you might be mindlessly scrolling in front of the kids. For your own health and the health of your kid, it helps to set a precedent about a healthy amount of screen time.
3- Create Technology-Free Zones
Designate technology-free zones in parts of your home. Perhaps you want to make sure the kitchen and dining room are screen-free, so that you can prioritize family meals and conversations. Or make the kid’s bedrooms tech-free zones so that they don’t reach for their devices before going to sleep at night. Having these designated spaces will significantly limit screen time and also help strengthen family bonds.
4- Set Boundaries for Unplugging
Aside from having tech-free zones, we can also set other boundaries around screen-time. Set boundaries around certain times when device use is and isn’t acceptable. Unplugging during mealtimes and an hour before bedtime can be healthy boundaries to limit screens.
5- Encourage Other Activities
Lastly, remind your child that there are more ways that they can fill their time rather than staring at a screen. There are other great forms of entertainment, like reading books or playing kids games, that can be equally as fun. We can also encourage our kids to get outside more and explore outdoors too.