Entertainment, education, and upskilling – children rely on smartphones and laptops for every single activity. As a result, their screen time is becoming exponentially high with every passing day.
On average, kids aged between 8 to 18 years in the USA spend a whopping 7.5 hours in front of screens every day, just for entertainment purposes. This does not include the screen time required for education and upskilling.
If you are worried about the implications of increased screen time for your children, this blog has some sure-fire solutions for you. Read on to find out how to reduce screen time for kids.
10 Effective Tips You Must Follow to Reduce Screen Time for Your Kids
1. Create tech-free zones in your house
Right from the beginning, create tech-free zones in and around your home. Ensure that neither your kids nor you operate smartphones, laptops, or tabs in these zones. The idea is to create a sense of compulsion.
When you ban using screens in a specific room or corner of your house, it subsequently brings down the screen time for your children. This area can either be the dining area, the terrace, or the backyard.
2. Set a fixed time to “unplug”
Unplugging is necessary to de-clutter your mind. Make it a habit to unplug all your technological gadgets together at a fixed time. Dinner time can be ideal for this activity.
When the entire family agrees to let go of their devices and indulge in quality family time, you can easily control the screen time for your kids.
3. Teach your children about the healthy use of electronics
Make sure you teach your children about the healthy usage of technological devices. They must understand why you are putting a limit on their screen time. Let them know the disadvantages of excessive exposure to screens.
Have a healthy discussion with your kids regarding screen time control. Explain with logic instead of simply forcing them to abide by your rules.
4. Keep a watch on your tech usage
If you expect your children to have moderate screen time, then you, too, should follow the same rules.
Your children will always copy your actions and learn from you in the process. So, put a limit on your screen time as well.
5. Use parental control thoughtfully
Most web browsers, smartphones, tabs, and laptops have pre-installed parental control systems.
Make the most out of this technology and use it efficiently to block certain websites, keywords, programs, and searches so that your children cannot access them after a certain period.
6. Keep children engaged in fun-filled extra-curricular activities
Do not let your kids get solely dependent on gadgets for entertainment. Give them different options, such as joining hobby classes or reading books, or playing board games.
Both indoor and outdoor activities can keep your children engaged. Once they get multiple options other than tech-based entertainment, they won’t demand their gadgets to enjoy their free time.
7. Treat screen time as a privilege
Make it clear in front of your kids that the opportunity to use the internet and wi-fi is a matter of privilege. And teach the difference between privileges and rights. Let them know that this privilege can be taken away from them in case they break any screen-time rule.
But when they adhere to the rules and regulations for a long time, reward them with extra screen time on a certain day to keep them motivated.
8. Keep your child’s room screen-free
It is preferable to keep your child’s room screen-free. Do not place a desktop, laptop, or any smartphone or tab in their room. Ask them to use the devices at a commonplace in the house.
This will prevent your kids from using laptops or phones till late at night before going to bed.
9. Ban screen usage during meal-time
“A family that eats together stays together.” Make this a policy at your home and ban screen usage during meal times.
Be it for entertainment or educational purposes, using screens should not be allowed while having meals.
10. Fix a day for binge-watching
There should always be a specific day in the entire week when the kids should be allowed to binge-watch their favorite shows and play games as per their wishes.
You can fix a day such as Sunday and allot them a few hours in which they can either binge-watch web shows/movies/cartoons or play online games.
As a responsible parent, it is your responsibility to ensure that your children do not get exposed to screens for too long. Implement these hacks gradually in your everyday life and help your children use advanced technology in moderation.
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