Limit Your Child’s Screen Time with these easy tricks. They are simple yet effective.
I know how hard it is in today’s world to get the kids off the screens. My kids do not watch TV. AT. ALL. Yes, You heard that right. NONE. AT. ALL.
WAIT!!! Before you jump to conclusions, let me clarify.
That is just because they are on the laptop, mobile or the tablet most of the time. The irony!!
Watching YouTube, Playing Talking Tom is how they get their screen time. TV sounds so old school to them. Sigh!!
But I am a person who really do not like my kids to be glued to the screens always. I would much rather prefer them to play board games or be outdoors than stick their faces to the screen.
They have never been the gadget kids, to begin with. My hubby and I always were outdoor people. We would make the best of the weather at the place we stayed and always be out and about exploring new places.
Though ever since relocating and hubby forced to be away at work it is very hard for me to keep them entertained.
Parenting solo is hard enough, add in the tempers of the house in the form of a teen and a preteen, you can pretty much imagine my situation.
I have been so overwhelmed with maintaining the house and kids alone for the first time ever in my life. And hence to maintain the temporary peace and my sanity, I had let them use gadgets more than ever before.
They had become almost addicted to the screens before I took charge. I had noticed that whenever I am in the middle of work, my kids would bring out the tablet to open the password. As I am already stressed at that moment, I just want to be done way with them and unlock it.
I was just somehow keeping ourselves afloat without their father around. It wasn’t until my son complained of back pain that I was taken aback. It was a huge wake up call for me. And I have since limited their use of the screen time.
I would say it has greatly improved their health ever since as they are not hunching their backs and necks over the tablet.
I just realized that it is so easy to get them away from the gadgets if we just put in some efforts. How they get weaned away from the screens with just few changes in their life. All they need is just affection and care from us.
So here are my tips to limit your child’s screen time
1. Be a hands on parent.
Be available to your child no matter how busy you are. By being hands on parent I do not mean, that you are always at the beck and call of your child. But rather always be available to your child when he / she needs you the most. I have noticed, when I do not pay attention to my kids, they try to compensate that by going online. It is almost filling in my absence.
You will realize that it is at the most unexpected times that we can take cues from the child about their life. It is the small things that leads one thing to the other and the child just opens up.
So just be a hands on parent and be involved in your child’s life. Your work can wait but your child once he grows will never be the same age again.
2. Screen Time is a reward not a right.
I truly love this quote. It should never be that using the gadgets is their basic right and not a privilege. Set your rules right from the start. It should never be taken for granted.
I have fairly easy time limiting the screen time of my teen than the younger ones though it should be other way round. As strange as that sounds, there are reasons behind it.
But since she isn’t exposed to much gadgets right from childhood, she doesn’t miss them or demands them.
Yes, as simple as that. She has other hobbies that keep her busy. As we used to travel a lot during her childhood and almost all our vacations and weekends would be spent in mountains, parks or beaches, she loves nature more than the artificial world.
The gadget should be given as a reward for their good behavior, which brings us to the following point.
3. Earn the Screen Time
The kids need to earn the screen time. Never let the screen time be a substitute parent. Most of the time, we give our kids the gadgets to buy some time.
Set some chores or rules, if they abide then they earn the screen time. Never hand them over for free.
Let’s say if they do chores, they get 10 minutes screen allowance. Next if they do their homework without fuss, they get another 10 minutes. Depending upon the age of your child, bargain them to get the optimal use of the reward.
Let them earn their screen time.
4. Set a timer
This is not an option but rather a necessity. Watching the screen for extended times is very detrimental to the health of kids. Limit your child’s screen time to 30 minutes to an hour in a day.
5. Educational Use
Encourage them to use it constructively. Rather than seeing mindless videos on YouTube, you can ask them to see something that is useful and beneficial. You can challenge them to find something educational and useful when they do get their screen time.
This is a great way to not only limit your child’s screen time but also a great way to learn new things yourself.
6. Spend time with them
The best way to wean them away from gadgets is to spend time with them yourself. Whenever my little one is whiny, I ask her elder siblings to play a board game with them. They crib and are never interested to play with her. The minute I announce that I am joining the game, everyone is excited and involved.
If only you have to take one thing from this post, please take this tip. This is by far the best way to limit your child’s screen time.
Kids need our attention no matter what their age. They love being able to spend time with us.
Spend time and play with them according to their age and interest. Take them out for parks, beaches, walks.
Encourage your child to play outdoors with their friends or invite their friends over to play. Read a book to them, ask a quiz. Or even better, get them involved with household chores. Give them age specific tasks and engage them in conversation as you do.
Not only will you bond with your child at that moment, but even your work will be done much faster.
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So these were my simple tips to Limit Your Child’s Screen Time.
How do you limit your child’s screen time? Do let me know through comments.
Until Next Time,