Reducing screen time has been a hot topic in this digital age, and that’s a given since other electronic items have been thrown into the mix which are easily portable and hence even more hard screen to control! We all know more screen time is bad for us and children, but how exactly are they bad? There are numerous bad habits linked to too much TV or video games.
While some may argue that video games makes the mind more active because of its puzzles and tactics, too much of anything is very bad. For decades scientists and doctors have cautioned parents and adults alike about the harmful benefits of too much screen time. It can lead to childhood obesity, poor sleeping habits and social issues. A study done in UCLA also showed that too much screen time can effect the child’s ability to recognize emotions and other non-verbal signs.
Now that we have established the importance of reducing screen time, how do we reduce it? Naturally parents and babysitters will face a lot of resistance and agitation from the kids due to cutting off their screen time. So how do we reduce screen time and get a happy kid in return too? Sounds impossible. Almost.
Following are some of the points to help you in your journey in reducing screen time for kids (and keep them from not chewing your head off in the process):
1. Reduce your screen time first
As heartbreaking as it may sound, to help your kids you also have to bid farewell to your phones, tablets, computers and TV time. It’s all about setting the right example for your kids. Moreover, if too much screen time is bad for your kids, it must be bad for you too right? Adults suffering from too much screen time also face obesity and other health issues. If you’re always hooked to your gadgets, then your kids will deem it a normal occurrence and follow in your footsteps.
2. Encourage other activities
Whenever your kids get free time always provide them with non-electronic resources to pass their time. It can be a simple house chore, or any sport, board games, puzzles, reading and arts and crafts among other things. This will keep them occupied and keep their mind sharp too.
3. Limited Screen time
Allow screen time after the kids have done something productive. Some parents change the wifi everyday and only give the password when they’ve done something worthy. Moreover, limit their time to 30 40 minutes depending on the circumstances. Make it a routine so they stop complaining and do other activities like sports, reading, arts etc. This way they will also have a healthy balance between screen time and other activities and won’t get bored or agitated. Which is a win-win situation right?