7 tips to limit your child’s screen time
My neighbour’s 5yo son has his own iPad. And that’s scary. I mean, how healthy is that? Physically and mentally. Are those little eyes even ready for this type of exposure? Is that little mind ready to dive into virtual reality without experiencing the real REAL world?
Limiting the screen time of your child is a way of directing him towards other fruitful activities such as reading, playing and getting socialized. Reduced screen time also helps children to be more healthy and active. Although many parents know the benefits of limited screen time, very few of them know how to keep their children away from the screen practically. This article emphasises 7 working tips to limit your child’s screen time.
1. Be a part of your child’s life
Unfortunately, most of the modern parents unknowingly make TV a part of the children’s life; they turn on the TV for their children in order to keep them engaged in ‘something’. So, the children will start to believe and obey what is told in the television instead of relying on the parents. Therefore, try to actively engage in children’s lives and be a part of their lives. Always observe them, talk, and listen; help them to solve simple issues and play with them. Let them observe while you cook, clean or work. Let them see how real life looks like.
2. Disconnect the TV
The most effective and guaranteed way to keep your children’s screen time limited is disconnecting the TV line completely. In fact, such approach will definitely affect your family life too. You will eventually find that you communicate more with each other in the absence of TV. Your child will then look for alternative ways to be engaged; talk with him, positively respond to what he says and give him a lot of attention.
3. Set time limits
If you are not in a position to get rid of the TV completely and you obviously need to keep your phone and computer, you need to arrange strict time lines for your child. Let them watch only one show in the morning and another one after school for instance. They will soon start to realize that they don’t have unlimited access to TV. Never go beyond this schedule no matter what it takes. In fact you can even lessen the screen time little by little.
4. Introduce and facilitate other activities
Just because you switch off the TV, it will not work unless you provide a practical alternative. Introduce some games, drawing, painting, puzzles, building blocks, sports etc. depending on the personal interest of the child. Make sure that you praise him whenever he starts to play with one of those alternatives instead of TV. And of course be an example.
5. Don’t hesitate to play the role of the parent
It is always important to be the parent; sometimes you may have to make tough decisions. If you want to switch off the TV at a given time, you should do it without fail. Don’t let the child have the bargaining power; instead, direct them towards other activities.
6. Don’t allow media inside the bedrooms
You shouldn’t have media inside the bedrooms. Make sure to place the media in a commonly viewable place. Don’t let your child to sleep while watching movies.
7. Avoid TV during meals and car rides
Don’t focus on a screen during meals or car rides. Make use of that precious time to communicate with each other and let your children observe it.