Many parents are guilty of letting gadgets babysit their children. Some allow kids to watch and play games on electronics at hours end. We often use this as a way for us to finish our chores, do our work, or even just to enjoy some me-time.
There is nothing wrong about taking some time off to finish tasks or relax. However, too much screen time has its negative effects. It can cause health issues, behavioral problems, violence, and even harm relationships. What can parents like you do to limit their screen time?
Talk to them about the negatives of too much screen time
It may not be easy, but take time to explain to your children that too much screen time is not good. Use an age-appropriate manner when talking to them. Also, make sure to use words that kids their age can easily understand.
Instead of simply imposing a new rule on how much time they can spend watching TV and using their gadgets, make them understand the reason why you need to limit their gadget use.
Find ways to divert their attention
Kids, like adults, often use screens to past time or to do something when bored. By redirecting their attention, you can help limit their use of gadgets. Encourage them to play outside and socialize with kids their age. Who knows? They might find an activity they enjoy more than staring idly at their iPads.
You can encourage them to take dance lessons, learn a new language, or even play a new sport. Make sure to increase their safety when playing outside. If they are into sports, make sure they are wearing the proper protective equipment like a helmet, knee and elbow pads or football mouthguards if needed.
Keep they adequately hydrated and encourage regular exercise.
Establish gadget time and tech-zones
Since you’re now limiting their screen time, make sure to establish the amount of time they use their screens and when. Tell them which part of the house they are allowed to use their gadgets. By setting some ground rules and being consistent, they’ll find it easier to follow and adjust.
Use these apps to monitor their screen time
We now have apps that allow you to track and limit screen time. Zift, for example, lets you know what your kids are up to like what their recent searches are and if they are viewing any inappropriate content. Unglue helps instill screen time etiquette to children.
Screen Time is another app you can download. This app enables parents to check what their kids are trying to download. You can then approve or reject the apps before your kids can use them. Other useful apps can help parents monitor what their kids are doing and even limit their screen time.
Some are free, and others require payment. You can choose, depending on the features you prefer.
Explain to them that screen time is a privilege
Make your kids understand that gadget use is not a right, but a privilege. If they are good, then you can reward them extra minutes of screen time. If not, you can take their gadgets away from them as a form of consequence.
As parents, we try our best to give everything we can just to make our kids happy. However, anything that is of excess is never good. When it comes to your kid’s use of screen time, you can keep these tips in mind to help you start limiting their gadget use.