Having experienced the benefits of technology, we all know how easy it can make our day-to-day lives. Whether online shopping, banking, or even networking, the internet and technological advancements have made communication easier and quicker. So, if we were to go back to the pre-internet era, none of us would probably want to turn back time. When it’s very well-clear that life is easy and nearly impossible without the internet, and digital devices in this modern era, guiding your kids in life with the absence of these is impractical. But letting them dive deep into the digital world can adversely impact their physical health and mental well-being. So as responsible parents, all we can do is incorporate effective strategies for managing kids’ screen time.
Table of Contents
1. Schedule Screen-Time Free Zones
Scheduling screen-time free zones are essential for managing kids’ screen time. Kids follow a timetable at school. They pack their school bags with textbooks and notebooks as per the timetable. So, in a nutshell, it’s all about training the kids. Similarly, create a timetable at home. Jot down the timings to study, watch movies, play outdoor games, read books, eat meals, bathe, pray and sleep. You can mention when they are allowed to use digital devices and when they aren’t. While making a schedule, sit with your kids and make them feel involved in the whole process. This way, parents can consider their reasoning and opinions while making decisions. As a result, your kids will develop a sense of responsibility to follow the timetable at home. Also, Read: Child Development Stages: Explained
2. Be a Role Model
Who do you think the kids look up to and learn? It’s none other than the people they spend most of their time with, their parents. So what if parents spend their free time reading books, gardening flowers, exercising, baking, playing sports, and reading newspapers? Their children would also prefer to spend their time ideally getting involved in similar activities. But that does not mean you have cut off your screen time entirely. Make wise choices when you are around your kids. Make them realize there are tons of ways to keep themselves engaged, instead of getting sucked into phones and TV, the entire day. Fix your habits and set yourself as a role model to witness how effective this method is for managing kids’ screen time.
3. Set Aside Time for Family
Set aside some time for your family daily. Formulate this as a practice until it becomes habitual for all family members to meet up, talk, and share their experiences at school, work office, and home. It can either be before bedtime or during dinner time. You can choose a time preferable to all of them. During family time, no one shall use electronic or digital devices. These days, seldom do people spend time on face-to-face conversations. Beat all such odds and spend quality time with your family. Setting aside family time for conversations and other fun activities is one effective strategy for managing kids’ screen time.
4. Make Them Earn their Screen Time
All kids are not the same. They have their weaknesses and strengths. Some would be good at following a timetable, while some wouldn’t be. Some are good at drawing a line between playtime and study time, while others may not be efficient at doing so. This is where parents can help them keep track of their daily activities. If your kid exceeds the screen time limit for the day, restrain them from using their gadgets any further. Tell them they only get to use them once they accomplish important tasks of the day. Make them earn their screen time and let them know it’s not a privilege, instead of a reward. Also, Read: Tips for Parenting the Strong Willed Child
5. Tag their Bedrooms as Screen-Free Zones
The way a child spends their time before bed can affect the quality of their sleep. Tame your kids to read books or magazines before sleeping instead of using smartphones from a very young age. Tag their bedrooms as screen-free zones and make sure they don’t take in their mobile phones to the bedroom. This is one efficient way of managing kids’ screen time. This is probably the only time parents don’t get to inspect what their kids are doing. So to make sure they get enough sleep and aren’t disturbed by the presence of a smartphone, get rid of all electronic gadgets that may trigger them.
Too much screen time can be detrimental to your child’s health. Ever since online education has come into play due to the inevitable scenarios of COVID -19 and stringent measures of lockdown, parents’ concerns regarding their kid’s screen time have escalated. Moreover, kids these days get into online gaming instead of playing with their friends outdoors. With OTT platforms and social media apps, access to watching movies and interacting with friends online has become more accessible, adding another reason to increased screen time. If all these concerns bother you, managing kids’ screen time can be easy by integrating the strategies mentioned above in your parenting guidelines.