Having to set limits on how much screen time- TV/YouTube your child can have when they’ve already grown so used to it, is not the easiest thing to do.
Read on to see suggestions on how to reduce your kids’ screen time without causing commotion:
Practice What You Preach
Everyone learns better when the preacher is living out the message too; kids are no exception. In fact, research has proven that children tend to gravitate toward the modeled behaviors of their parents. If they see you reading a book, they will be more likely to read. And if they see you watching television, they will do the same. The need to set a good example cannot be overemphasized. Also, if you must watch TV with them around, parental guidance is advised.
Implement Limited Viewing Times.
If you are going to restrain from putting off the television completely, set an appropriate television viewing windows for your kids. It is much easier to limit their viewing habit if they understand that they can only watch one cartoon after school, completing a chore or exclusively on weekends.
Today’s kids are tech-savvy. It is possible for them to know about these things better than we do, which is why it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest apps, social media craze, tricks, and hacks.
How else can you educate your kid on the risks and dangers of social media if you don’t understand it yourself? Therefore, make it a priority to from time to time learn about these gadgets and how they are impacting or adversely affecting your children.
Set up ‘Safe’ Zones
Have zones in your house where you just don’t permit electronics- a TV, smartphones or laptops. For example, the dining room can be a great technology-free zone that is reserved for meals, family conversations and studying. If your home has a library/study room too, awesome!
Encourage Other Activities. And provide the necessary resources (books to read, board games, art supplies, and/or sporting equipment).
Play with Them Instead.
The world won’t end if you got down on the floor with your kids to play with their dolls, trucks, and whatever else you have in their toy box. It may not seem like it now, but it would mean a great deal to them soon enough, as they grow older and you’ll be glad you did.
Use Parental Controls
To protect your kids from explicit content on TV and the internet, there are parental controls that let you monitor what your kids are viewing on DSTVand on YouTube. Make use of them to ease your stress and understudy your children.
Talk to Them About It
Kids who understand, “It’s not healthy to watch too much TV,” are less likely to try and break the rules against kids who think, “I can’t watch TV because my parents are mean.”
In an age-appropriate manner, explain how too much Nickelodeon, movies, and violent video games, can be detrimental to them. You’d be surprised to learn how much they can comprehend.
Add tech-free time to your family’s schedule. For example, the time for dinner or one hour after homework time can be a great time for the entire family to have quality time together without TV and Computers. At any age, kids should know there are specific times when all screens are meant to be off. Alternatively, you can set up a time every week maybe, when the family does something fun together (device-free).
This list of the best free kiddies educational apps and websites will come in handy
Watch How Often You Use Your Own Devices.
If you keep your face buried in your phone, your kids won’t see a good reason why they should get off their screens. So, especially when they are around you, consciously limit your own screen time; it’s a worthy sacrifice. Plus, those devices affect quality family time. And please remember it’s highly uncool to focus on your smart devices during family time than on the children.
Obtain Your Child’s Passwords
Depending on your child’s age and your values, it may be the best decision to obtain your child’s passwords to their tablets and online accounts. It can also be important to establish rules about social media and what they should or shouldn’t engage in on social platforms.
Many children lack the maturity needed to handle online problems, such as cyberbullying, to sharing explicit content on the internet space. Until they are old enough to handle it, it’s important to take responsibility for helping your child stay safe if he’s using these channels.
Here are more free kids educational apps
Encourage Other Activities
Without any other thing to engage in, kids can easily grow dependent on technology for entertainment. Encourage your children to become involved in and possibly grow fond of activities that don’t involve screens. Get them to read a book or play other types of games.
Make Screen Time a Privilege
Screen time should be a privilege and not a right. Take away privileges, such as TV time or computer use as they like. And once you’ve set a limit on how much screen time they are permitted to get, discipline yourself to stick to it and refrain from letting them earn extra time as a reward. Instead, stick to the daily limit and offer other safe or low-cost rewards.
Here’s how you can boost your child’s IQ
No Screens in Your Their Bedrooms
It becomes a herculean task to monitor a child’s screen/media use if it’s allowed in the bedroom. Don’t allow your child to have a TV, video game system or a device with internet access in his room. Make computers and Televisions stay in the shared spaces of your home. When your kids use screens in the kitchen or living room, it’s easier to keep an eye on the shows they watch, the games they play, and the websites they visit.