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Tips To Reduce Screen Time For Kids

7 December 2021

Happy Family

These days taking out time from your kids’ schedule that is completely free from screens is pretty difficult. Zoom school is still a raging part of your kid’s day, with their assignments, study material, and projects all on their laptop, and after a long day of school, they go back to their screens for leisure time as well. Prolonged exposure to screens has harmful consequences, with headaches, and can affect their eyesight. We know it’s difficult to sway kids away from the comfort and excitement of their tabs and phones, which is why we have some effective tips that will help you reduce screen time for your kids!

1.Set A Healthy Pattern-We all know that the first role models of a child are his parents. They base their actions and behaviors on what is normalized by their parents which shifts the onus on us to be better with screen time. You might want to sink into your couch and binge-watch your favorite Netflix series but remember your children are always watching you. If you keep your screen running at all times, while you are on the phone or laptop at home, your kids are going to pick up on that. Make sure you, too, are following the rules and living up to the standards that you set in the house. Make sure that you set a healthy pattern that your kids can emulate when it comes to limiting screen time so you can offset as much as you can, the negative effect of screen time on child development.

2.Establish Tech-Free Zones or Periods-Another great and effective way to help to limit screen time is by establishing tech-free zones in your home. The dining table or the living room can be that zone in your home where any sort of tech gadget will not be used. Make dinner time free from the intrusion of technology, and make sure you are following that too, as we might be tempted to pick up the phone for a work call, but remember the kids are picking up on that too. You can also establish tech-free time periods, and it is beneficial if you do, as reducing screen time an hour before bed promotes better sleep and long-lasting health benefits. Screen time for children can be designated to only a certain time of the day, if it’s feasible, after which your kids have to indulge in tech-free activities.

3.Make Screen-Free Time, FUN- Apps, with their interactive games, colorful graphics,  host of content, and engaging interface, can easily make kids reliant on them for leisure, thereby increasingscreen time for children. This is why increasing the appeal of screen-free activities becomes more and more important. Encourage them to go play outside in the park if it is safe, indulge in a game of Crossword or Pictionary with them, read their favorite book with them, engage in adorable craft projects with them. Incentivize screen-free activities, by offering to get them their favourite new book, or a game they’ve wanted for long every time they spend time away from the screens or engage in an alternative activity.

4.Have An Open Discussion- Make sure when you are laying the ground rules for reducing screen time,you are having an open discussion with your family regarding the same. Make your kids feel included and seen before you implement something so that it doesn’t feel like an arbitrary rule being enforced upon them. This will make them want to defy these rules. Instead, have a healthy discussion with them, try to make them understand why limiting screen time is good for them, make them understand the negative effects of screen time on children. Make your expectations clear with the rules regarding screen time, and about timings and periods where they are not to use their phones, tablets, or video game consoles. Don’t make it sound like a punishment, give them an alternative to screen time and explain to them how screen-free activities can be equally fun!

5.Keep A Close Eye-Monitor your child’s time and access to the internet, especially if you have young kids who are just getting their way around the internet. Since the internet has a plethora of information, your child might access some which are inappropriate. Kids today are tech-savvy, sometimes, more than us and they know their way around tweaking the controls of apps and games. Make sure you are up to date with the different kinds of security features so you can effectively filter out the harmful information from your child’s feed. Make sure that the parental controls are all switched on on their devices so it automatically blocks unwanted content. A great way to stay on top of the digital content that your kids are consuming is to actually see them for yourself from time to time, to see if it actually is something you want your kids to watch. You can also set up certain time-sensitive parental controls that automatically lock out the device after the daily screen time is up, this is a great hack for reducing screen time for children!

6.Make Daily Exercise The Name of The Game-To weed out the negative effects of screen time for children, we have already mentioned how you need to make screen-free activities more engaging. Well, exercise is not only fun but it is a great way to facilitate healthy habits for children. Exercising daily has numerous universally known health benefits. You can encourage your kids to take a 3-5 minutes break from their Zoom school daily, by stretching or walking, this helps to relieve mental tension and improve blood circulation. Additionally make 30 minutes of daily exercise the norm, as it not only helps improve blood circulation but it also helps tire your kids out, encouraging them to fall asleep early, automatically reducing screen time, and promoting healthier sleep patterns!

While these are just a few suggestions of ideas and alternatives that can help in order to reduce screen time, parents, you also don’t need to always be looking for solutions. If your child gets bored without the screen, let them figure what keeps them entertained. If they get bored, that’s fine. They will push themselves to find solutions and entertain themselves. By constantly sending alternatives their way, you will invariably and unknowingly also get them to feel entitled.

Rather, let them push their own selves harder and come up with effective and creative ways to stay engaged!

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