Did you know almost 87% of children today have a screen time that exceeds the recommended guidelines? Well, it is becoming a common sight to see kids as young as three years old glued to smartphones and tablets.
But this needs to stop. Excessive screen time is one of the leading reasons behind anxiety, attention issues, depression, and obesity. We need to find alternatives to change this destructive habit.
Even a simple ride on a hoverboard with Bluetooth for children can be much more interesting than a tablet. Since reducing kids’ screen time won’t be easy, we’ve compiled the top 5 tips to cut back without a fight. Read more!
Remove Unnecessary Tech from Sight
This should be the first step for any parent who is willing to change tech addiction in kids. Make a list of all the unnecessary gadgets and start removing them one by one.
Not all of your children need individual iPads and laptops. Understand that kids start to develop these needs when they reach school age. Even then, they don’t need a separate device.
You can provide a laptop or tablet to be shared by all the kids. This will not only make their screen time limited but will also teach them to be accountable.
Never Say No
Each kid is different, though the majority will refuse to listen if you tell them a clear no. They feel restricted when you do that. And so, it’s a natural response to rebel and go against what you want them to do.
A better way to help children reduce their screen time is to phrase the command in a friendly and diplomatic tone. Say, let’s play ball together and watch TV later. Or, you have already played the game on the tablet – would you like to make cookies with me instead?
If you keep saying a direct no, your kid will soon learn to ignore your words. He might even develop negative feelings for you.
Offer Interesting Alternatives
Kids use gadgets because they have stimulating and entertaining games. You can recreate the same effect in offline activities based on what your kid likes to do.
If your little one is a football fan, enroll him in a club for daily matches. Or, play with him in the yard or local park. Similarly, if your kid loves high-tech things, give him a hoverboard and DIY kits.
Another amazing way is to develop an interest in outdoor activities in your children. Take them on camping, bug collecting, and zoo exploration trips.
Create a Screen Time Routine
This is a hard one, but if your child already follows a daily routine, consider making changes to it.
Set a healthy screen time limit according to age, and make your kid aware of this time. As a result, instead of using gadgets all day, your child will eventually start looking forward to his screen time.
Be a Good Role Model
Last – but most important – reduce the time you spend on the screen. Children observe the behavior of their adults and imitate it. So, if your kid has too much screen time from a young age, it’s because you do too!
Work on yourself and become a good example for the children. Spend more time on offline activities with your kids and show them how fun the world is without screens!