With the rise of digital technology, it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep children away from screens. Trust me, as a parent myself, I totally understand.
However, it’s important to set healthy boundaries around screen time for our children. Too much screen time can lead to negative effects such as reduced physical activity, decreased attention span, and poor sleep.
So, what are some steps we can take to reduce screen time? Here are some tips:
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Setting a regular screen time schedule can help kids stay within healthy limits.
You should consider setting a limit on the amount of time your child is allowed to use screens each day. This could be a specific number of hours or only allowing use during a specific time of day.
Another thing to consider is setting a limit on the type of content they’re allowed to view. This is MAJOR as we all know the content can get pretty crazy out there. (Have you seen some of the junk that comes across YouTube KIDS??)
Additionally, you may want to limit the amount of time they are allowed to play video games or watch television.
Get your kids involved in activities that don’t involve screens. This could be playing outside, reading a book, or taking a family walk.
We actually challenged our kids recently to use their imagination to build something totally from scratch (using NO screen time). You can check out my Instagram post to see what they came up with. I was actually quite impressed!
The important thing here is that you provide the kids with alternatives to entertaining themselves with screens. Sometimes they can feel a little lost without their devices.
I know this one can be difficult, but if you want your kids to use screens in a healthy way, you need to model that behavior.
Make sure you’re not using your phone or tablet too often, and take breaks when you need to.
Yes, even adults should have healthy screen time limits in place for themselves. This is actually what led to me putting more time into my guitar and piano lessons.
You can use parental controls or other tools to monitor and limit your kids’ screen time. Many apps and devices now have these controls available so that you can stay in the loop.
It is also a great way to show your kids how much time they are spending on particular games and apps. It can actually be very eye-opening having this data in front of you.
Talk to your kids about why reducing screen time is important and how they can make better choices. Explain that this isn’t a punishment. You are just trying to encourage them to do what’s best for their minds and bodies.
You should also get to know the types of content your child is viewing and have conversations with them about it.
Ask questions about their favorite shows or games. Have a conversation about the apps they like to use the most. This will help you understand their interests and also help you monitor the content they’re viewing.
By following these tips, you can help your kids reduce their screen time and lead healthier, more balanced lives. Feel free to share some of your best alternatives to screen time for kids (and even adults) in the comments!