Cutting Back On Screen Time

October 23, 2017

It seems that just about everyone is plugged in these days, and that includes children. Our TVs, laptops and other electronic devices are a source of education, humour, and connection that brings us fulfillment and joy. But kids these days might be getting a little too much screen time and not enough exercise and social engagement. Trying to figure out what the right amount of on-screen time is for your kids can be difficult to determine. That’s why we’ve put together 6 of the best ways that you can cut back on the screen time for both you and your kids.

Monkey See Monkey Do

For your kids to adopt your rules on TV watching, you must be the role model that sets an example. Pick up a book instead and encourage your children to follow suit. Kids will follow your behaviour, so you need to practice what you preach.

Be Strong

At the end of the day, you’re the parent, so it’s your final decision when it comes to your kid’s on-screen time habits. Be strong and set some ground rules that you can remain firm on. They may not like it very much, but setting these rules now can make it much easier for them to develop and engage with others beyond the screen in more fulfilling ways.

Create Family Time

Instead of watching television after dinner, why not create some family time during those hours before bed? You can play games, read together, have swim time, play a sports game outside, or do a new craft project to keep your kids interested. The more time spent on other activities will help them realize that there are lots of other fun things to do outside of their electronic devices.

Get Some Instruments

Kids love music, and by purchasing some instruments for your home, you can take their focus away from the television. There are many easy and fun instruments for the kids to enjoy and learn such as the guitar, the drums, the keyboard, or even the harmonica.  Children love playing around with music, especially when they’re making new and interesting sounds on their own accord. So consider getting them involved in making new sounds and stepping away from the electronics.

Keep Your Vehicle Free From Devices

For many parents, the idea of entering the vehicle and taking on any journey without those gadgets to distract the kids can seem like a nightmare they never want to endure. Being able to keep the kids busy and quiet is something every parent aims to achieve. But when they’re plugged in, it also takes away from opportunities to engage and interact with one another. So think about designating even just a few days during each week as device-free days so that you can converse and interact more. You can play a game of “Eye Spy” or talk about their day. Get them to look up and engage more with the world around them.

Lock The Laptop

You can use a laptop lock to ensure the laptop stays in one place. That way you can track where it is used and for how long. This will also ensure they aren’t using the laptop late into the night instead of getting the sleep they need.

Limiting how much on-screen time your child gets is very important. Experts have found that too much screen time results in bad behaviour, low energy, poor social engagement, and a heightened chance of obesity. You don’t have to cut screen time out completely, just aim to reduce it to a healthy level for your child so they can learn to interact and take on the real world around them as they grow.

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