Do you feel as though the amount of screen time your kids experience every day is getting out of control? Reducing screen time is extremely important for kids and it can play a major role in your child’s development. While there are many educational programs, videos and apps available, too much screen time steals precious time away from everyday living and experiences. If your children watch TV all the time, play on their gaming devices, spend hours texting or playing with apps on their phone, it is time to make some changes. Too much screen time can cause kids to become limited when it comes to
communication, expression and developing new social skills. There are many different ways to reduce screen time in your family so you can all live in the present moment, stay active and enjoy a full life.
Be an Example
It is important that parents also manage their screen time more appropriately. If kids constantly see Mom or Dad watching TV, stuck to their phone or spending hours with their laptop doing non-work related tasks, they will think this is acceptable. If you set an example for your child, your child will follow.
Create Screen-Free Areas
One place to keep screens away from is your child’s bedroom. Keep TVs, video game consoles and handheld video games out of the bedroom. If you need to, keep a box for these items and limit the screen time to one or two hours a day. Kids tend to watch more TV during the day when they have a TV in their room, so keep the TVs to common areas. It is also important to encourage kids to be around the family, not hiding away in their room with a screen.
Limit Screen Time
It is essential to set screen time limits. This includes handheld games and devices. Limit your household to two hours a day and make sure you stick to it. Make sure everyone in the household signs an agreement about this time limit and abides by it.
Keep Screens Off During Meals
Mealtime is a great opportunity for families to catch up and bond with each other. It isn’t healthy to keep the TV on and allow the kids to zone out while eating. It is very important for kids to be mindful when they eat meals to promote healthy eating habits. Eating robotically while the TV is on is never a good idea.
iPhones, Apps and Chats
Many teenagers are stuck to their cell phones all day, either playing games or texting their friends. While it is great that they are being social and keeping friendships, make sure phones are left outside of the bedrooms at night. Kids won’t sleep when they can text their friends all hours of the night or play their favorite app. Enforce this rule or you’ll have a dark-eyed, grumpy teenager on your hands.
Reducing screen time at home can change the way your family experiences life. Life will become more full, everyone will be more energized and you’ll have more bonding time as a family. You may learn new skills together, share more stories, be more active and have more time for family adventures and fun. Don’t let a brightly lit screen steal some of life’s most important moments away from your family – start cutting down today.