Regulating screen time for kids is almost impossible for most parents in our tech-savvy generation. This is because technology is dominating every aspect of life due to the benefits attached. This benefit likewise has numerous disadvantages when not appropriately utilized, most especially for kids. Limiting screen time for kids is a parental duty for parents, who desire a healthy upbringing for their child.
Unfortunately, too much screen time for kids makes their brains numb as it impairs the function and structure of their brains. Similarly, obstruct creativity, emotional coordination, and academic performance. Failure to limit screen time for kids affects their health as they become victims of insomnia and obesity. However, limiting screen time for kids is achievable when you commit yourself to the methods outlined in this post.
Ways You Can Effectively Limit Your Kids Screen Time
1. To Manage Your Kids Screen Time Begin by Talking About it
Oftentimes, parents find it difficult to discuss screen time with their kids. This is due to their negligence towards activities that increase their love bond with their children. There is a need for a healthy relationship with your kids, this enables you to enlighten them more about the time spent in front of the screen.
Your kids need to learn about the importance of having a balanced life, beginning from childhood. This balance is attained when there is moderation in their online and offline activities. Let them know that too much screen time for kids is destructive to their well-being. They deserve to know all the negative effects attached to excessive screen time. This awareness helps your kids cooperate with you to effectively manage their screen time.
2. Ensure They Earn Their Screen Time
When the purpose is not known, abuse is inevitableMyles Munroe
This principle applies to kids who got technological devices without knowing why. They begin to abuse it by spending hours in front of the screen doing the needless. Many parents are fond of buying devices for their kids because they ask for them or to compete with their co-parents.
However, to limit screen time for kids, parents must ensure their kids earn it. Your kids must prove themselves worthy of their screen time. This tactic makes them responsible. Their earnings should stem from their excellent performance in academics, sports, vocational skills, helping with the house chores, displaying a well-mannered behaviour among others.
3. Set Boundaries to Effectively Control Your Kids Screen Time.
Do you want to discipline your kid’s screen time? Certainly yes— Set rules! When it comes to limiting screen time for kids, setting rules prevent them from going the extra mile. It keeps their screen activities under check. However, rules without consequences when violated are unproductive. Therefore, seeing your kids abide by your rules ensures there are consequences fixed to each rule. The number one rule on your list should be on timing. It’s beneficial to allocate time to their daily activities, both offline and online activities.
Their screen time shouldn’t exceed two hours for your teenage kids and one hour for kids below teenage with your supervision. Next, set aside the days in the week you grant them access to their devices. It could be twice or thrice weekly depending on your preference. Perhaps, they violate the rules, let them face the consequences for their actions like suspension from the screen, withdrawal of allowances, extra house chores. Be mindful not to employ violent methods of disciplining a child when correcting your kids.
4. Encourage Productive Online Activities During Their Screen Time
The online space can be utilized to benefit your kids. Therefore, you can manage your child’s screen time by using their screen time for productive activities. Activities that enhance their passion, interest, intelligence, and emotional quotient. Too much screen time for kids is harmful, most especially when used for unimportant things like gaming, discussing in prohibited chat rooms, or watching videos that portray violence or immorality.
Gradually, they become victims of cyberbullying and defiant behaviour. In contrast, parents, insist they use their screen time mainly for academic research or watching educational programs, giving less time to entertainment.
5. Content Orientation is Necessary When Managing Kids Screen Time
Not all content online is healthy for kids. Therefore, to achieve the aim of limiting screen time for kids you must scrutinize and select the site they can access during their screen time. Simply adjust the settings of their devices by placing restrictions on sites you deem toxic for your kids. Meanwhile, it’s destructive to limit their screen time while you grant access to all sites. In contrast, enlighten your child about online sites before they begin exploring. Warn them not to secretly read content or watch videos they won’t be proud to show the world or do it in your presence.
6. Make Offline Activities Worthwhile for Your Kids
Oftentimes, kids consider online activities fun compared to offline engagements. This attitude stems from parents who wouldn’t participate in offline activities with their kids. Parents who claim to be occupied always grant their kids express access to screen devices to prevent them from feeling abandoned. However, spending less time with your kids is one of the parenting mistakes to be avoided— reschedule your activities.
Show your kids that offline activities can be fun too. A good way to begin is by discovering your child’s passion and giving them your maximum support. Most especially if it’s a vocational skill. Your support ignites more love for their interest. Gradually, you won’t worry about limiting screen time for kids since they get to prefer spending more time on their passion than in front of the screen.
7. Be a Good Role Model in order to Convince Your Kids
You’re the first role model to your child and they are silently watching every move you take— including your screen time. Unfortunately, they won’t hesitate to do the same when given the opportunity. To properly limit screen time for kids, begin by regulating your own screen time as a parent. Quit sending your kids to bed early while you stay all night in front of the screen.
It’s disheartening how parents claim to spend time with their children, whereas their complete attention is on their devices. Be more realistic as a parent, this enables you to lead by example. If you can regulate your screen time in the presence of your kids, it will be reflected in their screen time as they take reference from you.
8. To Successfully Manage Your Kids Screen Time Employ the Assistance of Tracking Devices.
Are you one of those parents who worry about what their kids do with their screen devices while away? If yes, worry no more. The growth of technology has brought about tracking apps that can be used to regulate your kid’s screen time even while you’re absent. Too much screen time for kids isn’t healthy, that’s why you need a tracking app.
Qustodio and Famisafe parenting control and screen time apps are effective tracking apps that are used in managing screen time for kids. Some of its features include time restrictions, app blocking on desktop/mobile, intuitive app, web interface, browsing history.
In addition, you’re notified directly with an alert to your phone when your kids are visiting suspicious sites, watching blocked videos channels, or installing unknown apps. However, their subscriptions are quite expensive, but I advise you to attempt their free trial and see if it’s worth paying for. You can further download these apps from the Google play store.
It’s your responsibility to guide and supervise your kids during their screen time irrespective of their age since no one is above mistakes—preferably join them. therefore, endeavour you strike a balance between their online and offline activities. Furthermore, it’s easier to limit screen time for kids by rewarding them if they abide by the set rules most especially during your absence.
Also, endeavour to share your thoughts and join the discussion in the comment section below.