Technology is a huge part of our lives today, and it’s hard to imagine not having it around. Yet it can be easy to have too much of a good thing and screen time is no exception, especially when it comes to our kids. If you’re looking for ways to cut back on the time your kids spend on their phones, tablets, or televisions, we’ve got some tips for you!
Schedule Time Without Screens on a Regular Basis
A good rule of thumb is to try to have your kids off their screens as much as they’re on them. So, if they spend an hour on their tablet, they should spend an hour outside playing. Making a habit of having time without screens will make it easier to be consistent with it.
If you’re looking for a place to start, it’s recommended that we all go screenless for the hour leading up to bedtime to help our natural melatonin production.
Keep Gadgets Out of the Bedroom
Not having televisions or computers in your child’s bedroom can help you keep tabs on how much time they’re spending in front of a screen. This will let you both stay accountable when it comes to tracking your time. Plus, there’s research that shows that kids with technology in their bedroom get less sleep than those without.
If your child has a cell phone, consider taking it a step further and having them charge their phone out in the living room only so they don’t have it when they go to their bedroom at night.
Lead By Example
The truth is, your kid is much more likely to agree to less screen time if they know that you are also spending less time on screens. Make an effort to rarely be seen sitting and scrolling on your phone or tablet without a purpose; save the social media catchup for after the kids go to bed if you can.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has a Family Media Plan that you can sit down together and create as a family. Putting in the time to create a media plan will allow you all to discuss what your goals are with limiting screen time, as well as discussing realistic amounts of time that you should all be allowed to spend in front of a screen. Making it a family affair will make you more likely to be successful!
Understand Why it Matters
While technology can benefit your children in a lot of ways, it can also lead to problems down the road if they’re overloaded with it. Research shows that kids who spend too much time on screens get poorer sleep, lower grades, and are more susceptible to issues like obesity and depression. We all want what’s best for our kids, and that’s why it’s important to understand the reasons you should limit screen time.
Children become products of what they are exposed to. Spending too much time on their video games, phones, and tablets can lead to a variety of complications in their life. It’s important to have a realistic goal when it comes to limiting screen time and useful tips to make those goals happen!