It’s all too tempting to plug your child in to an electronic device, but we all know that too much screen time isn’t good for children. It’s a good idea to set some limits on how much TV is being watched or how you’re your son or daughter has been playing on a phone or games console. In a world filled with screens, this isn’t an easy task. Here are useful ideas to help get your child away from a screen for a while:
- Be a good role model
If you always have your nose pressed up against a screen, what sort of role model are being? You can’t lecture a child about screen time as you binge watch Netflix. If your child sees you scrolling through your phone every few minutes or keeping the TV on while you fall asleep, it sets a bad example.
- Stay up-to-date
Kids of today are super-smart when it comes electronics, so educate yourself on becoming more tech-savvy. It’s important that you understand the latest crazes, apps and social media trends. Unless you know a little about the digital world, you can’t educate your children about the dangers. If you don’t know the ratings of games, how can you know if they are too graphic or violent? Learn about what’s going in your child’s online world.
- Establish tech-free zones
Create areas within the home that are designated no tech zones. The dining room table is a perfect example of a space that should be devoted to mealtimes and conversation only.
- Create ‘unplugged’ times
A great idea is to set aside a time when the whole family leaves devices alone and has some quality one-to-one family time. This might be the hour after dinner or the hour before bedtime. Whenever you choose, stay firm and insist that everyone turns off their electronics and spends time together.
- Set up parental controls
It’s important to protect your children from any explicit content on TV and online. Set parental controls to monitor what they are accessing and watching.
- Encourage activities
Children can easily become reliant on technology to supply their entertainment so encourage activities that don’t require a screen. Get outside to play, go for a bike ride or swimming, read a book or play a board game for a change. Outdoor play is crucial for a child’s health and development. Consider investing in wooden climbing frames from https://www.kidsclimbingframe.co.uk/
- See screen time as a privilege
We seem to have forgotten that screen time should be a privilege and not a right. Why not introduce the removal of screen time as a negative consequence for bad behaviour? If you limit screen time, don’t allow them to behave well for earning extra time. Be firm and stick to the daily limit and introduce other non-screen rewards for good behaviour.
- Ban from the bedroom
Bedrooms are for sleeping, so don’t allow electronics in the bedroom. IT is proven that electronics disrupt sleep so don’t let your child have a TV, mobile phone, games console or laptop in with them at night.