How to effectively cut down a child’s screen time
Children are adorable, but parenting is challenging. In this digital era where everything is possible with just a single click, millennial children are becoming very dependent on this. Parents are very keen on limiting the amount of time a child spends with the mobile phone, television, laptop, tablets, etc. When children spend most of their time in front of a screen, it affects them physically, psychologically, and socially. It will affect their sleep and may lead to obesity. It may affect their eye’s vision and may cause neck, back pain in later stages of life.
Kids will miss out on most of the interaction with the people around them, be it their family or friends. There will be no chance for them to learn things from the outer world, hence their knowledge becomes limited, which may lead to poor grades. Nowadays screens are everywhere and it may seem difficult to control the time spent in front of the screen, but there are tips that can be followed to cut down the child’s screen time effectively.
1. Make them step outside and encourage physical activities:
Children miss out on many things if they are going to stay indoors for a long time. In fact, going outside, playing with friends, or taking a stroll with their parents develops them. First of all, staying indoors makes them lazy and likely to become obese. Playing makes them physically fit and regulates their sleep. When they play with their friends, it develops communication, they learn to adjust and help each other. Hence, they also become socially competent. Other physical activities will include yoga, dance, aerobics, cycling, gymnastics, etc. Hence when they start concentrating on hobbies like this, naturally their screen time will reduce.
2. Encouraging independent play:
A child can indulge in many activities and can keep themselves engaged while staying indoors. Resorting to watching television or mobile phone is not the only choice. Parents are sometimes to be blamed for this. In order to calm the child, they think that the only solution is to provide them with a device so that they will watch something in that. But there are many other alternatives too. Parents can help the child to play independently. It can be board games or even reading a book. Start slowly by assisting the child to engage independently, later they will learn to engage in a useful activity rather than spending it by sitting in front of screens. This is the best way to cut down child’s screen time.
3. Don’t let kids own their devices rather place them in shared space:
Kids become addicted to screen when they actually own a phone or laptop. When they have these devices all by themselves, it makes them easier to view anything they want at any time. Hence the frequency of them being in front of the screen increases. Hence the control of the devices must be with the parents or other elders. The child will have a chance to view the device only if he gets permission. Television must be placed in a shared place like the living room and not the kid’s room to reduce child’s screen time. This again reduces the time spent in front of the television.
4. Setting limits for screen time and being a good example:
Parents can lay down certain rules for the kids to reduce their screen time. It can include the number of hours a child can spend in front of the screen, the time of the day to use the device (like before dinner or after dinner), etc. Children learn a lot of things from their parents, this includes how frequently the parents are using mobile phones or watching television. Hence try to be a good example to your kids when it comes to spending time in front of the screen.
5. Focusing on family time:
It is important for the child to spend some time with the family. The parents or siblings can play with the child, tell stories, and can sit together as a family for a meal. In this way, the child will not want to spend more time in front of a screen rather they will find it interesting to spend time with people. As the child grows, the parents can talk about the dangers of excess time in front of the screens. Quality family time is the best option to keep a tab on the child’s screen time.
The development of the child is very important and it can be a serious issue when the children get too addicted to mobile phones or laptops. It is every parent’s duty to set a routine, monitor, and regulate the number of hours a child spends in front of the screen. As a parent help your child to control their screen time.