Parenting in today’s world has become difficult. Parents want to limit kids screen time but they are busy with other errands, and kids are left with tablets, smartphone, smart televisions, laptops, video games, and with every possible screen that assure to bother parents as less as possible. Increased screen time cause significantly increased behavioral problems in kids. Excessive screen time leads to developmental delays, behavior problems, educational problems, obesity, sleep problems, violence, depression, and anxiety. Before getting direct toward the tips to limit screen time in kids. Let us go through the recommended screen time for kids according to their age.
Recommended Screen Time for Kids:
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the World Health Organization (WHO), the following is the recommended screen time chart as per age of the child.
Under 18 months = No screen time at all
Toddlers (18-24 months) = Little to no screen time
Pre Schoolers(3-5 years) = 1 hour would be fine
Elementary School Aged( 6-10 years) = 1 to 1.5 hours
Middle School Aged(10-13 years) = 2 hours per day are enough
The comparison will blow your mind if you will honestly analyze your kid’s screen time to the actual screen time recommended. You might get to understand the reason behind are your child’s aggression, rigidness, and violent behavior. Despite thinking about the damage we have done to our child’s development and behavior, we should move forward and should take measures to halt more damage to happen.
There are certain measures that we can take to limit screen time in kids.
- 15 expert tips to limit screen time in kids:
- 1. Be a role model for your Kid:
- 2. Educate Yourself on Electronics:
- 3. Create technology-free zones at home:
- 4. Digital Detox:
- 5. Use Parental Controls:
- 6. Explain why you are limiting the Screen time:
- 7. Ask for your child’s Password:
- 8. Encourage Your Child in Other Activities:
- 9. Tech-free bedroom:
- 10. Don’t snatch the gadget at ones:
- 11. Select a Binge Day:
- 12. Ask your child to Justify the excessive use of Screen Time:
- 13. Make a Time Table for your kid:
15 expert tips to limit screen time in kids:
1. Be a role model for your Kid:
As we all know action speaks louder than words, before watching your favorite Netflix series don’t forget that you are setting an example for your kid. Your child is watching you when you are scrolling down your phone whenever you get a spare minute. Despite shouting at your kids to leave the electronic device, train yourself to get rid of the screen as much as possible. Spend your precious free time with your kids. Build a habit of book reading and your child will follow you. Just promise yourself to practice everything you want to teach your child.
2. Educate Yourself on Electronics:
Always remain one step ahead of your kids. There should be nothing that your child knows and you don’t. As a parent, you should know what negativities are trending among kids, know if your child is playing a violent video game. To stop them you should know about the negative aspects of the particular app, game, series, or episode yourself.
3. Create technology-free zones at home:
Establish technology-free zones at home. Be wise in selecting the zones, don’t let your child use the gadget away from your supervision. The technology-free zone could be the kitchen, dining area, and bedrooms. Don’t allow your child to use a cell phone or tablet in bed while the lights are switched off. It will also affect their eye sights.
4. Digital Detox:
Practice digital detox with your family as a ritual. Plan a vacation for a day or two to celebrate digital detox.
5. Use Parental Controls:
Almost all apps including YouTube, web browsers, and search engines have parental control options. YouTube has also launched YouTube kids which is a good initiative. Smartphones also have the option of downloading an app that filters the content according to the age of the child.
6. Explain why you are limiting the Screen time:
Discuss with your child about the side effects of excessive screen time, playing violent video games, and the dangers of online predators. Mold your conversation according to the age of your child.
7. Ask for your child’s Password:
If your child owns a personal gadget like a tablet, cell phone, or laptop, ask about his/her passwords. It is wise to keep an eye on your child’s activities and searches. Online games nowadays allow voice chats and regular chats and in case your child may face cyberbullying which may lead to other personality issues. So it’s better to be aware than to cry over the spilled milk.
8. Encourage Your Child in Other Activities:
Encourage your child to do activities that keep them away from a screen as much as possible. You can engage them with yourself in gardening, art, and craft, drawing, painting, play dough making, slime, and many other DIYs. The options are endless. You as a parent have to make an effort to keep your child away from the screen.
9. Tech-free bedroom:
Make your child’s bedroom an organic place to sleep or spend time. It’s wise to place a television in the living area where the whole family watches television together or can at least keep an eye on the child. Don’t allow your child to use a mobile phone or tablet when he is going to sleep.
10. Don’t snatch the gadget at ones:
Limit the screen time systematically. Don’t snatch the gadget at once announcing that you cannot get it from now on. Fix a screen time with mutual understanding and then stick to it strictly.
11. Select a Binge Day:
There are many families that avoid using television for a couple of days and then enjoy binge days with their kids. It is not wise to always have the noise of the television in the background. Select a schedule to use electronic gadgets. Binge will excite kids and will encourage them to see the whole family following the limit screen time rule.
12. Ask your child to Justify the excessive use of Screen Time:
Ask your child to justify his screen timing. This will benefit you in two ways (1) You will get to know the reason behind the excessive screen time of your child (2) You will be able to resolve the issue. For example, if he/she says that they have nothing else to do or they are bored so you can engage them in some activity.
13. Make a Time Table for your kid:
Tell your child the importance of balance in life. Make a time table for your kid. Make a habit of writing the next day’s chores before going to bed and divide the hours accordingly. Allow them to help in house chores, cooking, baking, dusting, making their beds, etc. Place the time table in the area which is visible to you and him/her so you can remind them if they forget to follow. This will make them disciplined and busy which will lead to limited screen timing.
These tips will help you cut down the screen time of your kids without fights. Remember you also have to change your screen habits if you want to make the process smooth and quick.