In this digital age, finding the right way to control screen time is crucial for your kids’ mental health. Too much screen time and exposure to irrelevant programs can lead to various problems among kids as they grow older like obesity, insufficient sleep, attention problems, and delay in social skill development, along with many other issues. That is why, it is essential to control screen time in growing kids for their good mental health. Read on to learn about some effective tips to control your kids’ screen time.
1. Manage Your Screen Time First
It’s a known fact that kids copy each and every action of their parents. So, it’s quite natural for kids to spend most of their time in front of the screen if they see you doing the same thing. Thus, first, reduce your screen time to make changes in your kid’s schedule. Do not spend hours scrolling your mobile or stay in front of your laptop when your children are around. Instead, turn off all the devices, put them away, and engage with your kids.
2. Set Screen Time
Screen time should be prohibited for kids as long as possible. But at times, it is the only way to get things done around the kitchen or sometimes to keep them entertained. In such cases, make sure you have set a screen time for them. As per experts, kids between 2-5 years of age, should be allowed to watch high-quality programs only for an hour a day. And always make sure that your kids watch age-appropriate programs rather than any random thing. Use parental control to block or filter content. Since your kid’s brain is still developing it is very crucial to keep an eye on what they are watching and for how long.
3. Show Them Alternatives
Instead of making your kid sit in front of the screen every time they cry, get bored, or stressed, show them other alternatives to stay busy. Tell them to play with their games, do some arts and crafts, write journals, help around the house, or play outside. Watching programs should not be the only solution to all of their problems. Even then if kids insist on screen time, get involved with them, play with them, take them outside, take them to a library, or do activities together to keep them busy. Once the child understands that there are many other ways to keep themselves busy, they will eventually spend less time in front of the screens.
4. Prohibit the Use Of Electronic Device During Meals
Meal time should be a distraction-free time for kids to understand their hunger and know what they are eating. With the screen in front of them, neither is possible. So, do not allow your kids to watch mobile, laptops, or iPads while having their meal. Instead, sit together and talk to them about their day to make their mealtime fun.
5. Make a Screen-Free Zone
Make one part of your house a screen-free zone to control screen time in your kids. It can be either their bedroom, your bedroom, or any other space. A screen-free zone will allow them to play more or be calm before their sleep. Also, make sure that your kids don’t use phones or other gadgets while talking or spending time with family and friends. This way they can devote their full attention and participate in the talk with their loved ones.
Controlling screen time will be a task, especially at the beginning. But with these simple tips, you will successfully control the screen time of your kids.
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