Screen time is a concern for many parents. With the rise of social media, smartphones, and streaming services, children and adults alike have more access to technology than ever before.
As many are realizing, this isn’t necessarily a good thing. Studies show too much screen time can lead to developmental delays, behavioral issues, and trouble forming relationships in children.
What is a parent to do? We gathered five foolproof ways to start limiting screen time in your home.
Use the power of momentum to get your kids engaged in worthwhile activities. Focus on giving children a list of tasks to do before they are allowed to get on their devices. These things should not be chores or things they would find boring.
Quite the opposite. Fill the list up with fun! For example, require your children to play outside, read a book, and practice a skill before they get screen time.
Chances are, once your child starts an enjoyable activity they won’t want to stop.
Stick to Your Schedule
Create a screen time schedule with your child and stick to it. It is easy to make allowances when things get hectic or busy. Do your best to limit exceptions to the rule. The clear rules and consistent enforcement of them help children recognize and maintain standards to follow.
Without a schedule, your child can easily become upset if screen time is suddenly limited or stopped. Allowing excessive screen time is also more easy to give in to.
Create a Charging Dock
Do you want to boost human interaction in your home? Create a charging dock! This is a special area of your home where everyone plugs in their devices at a certain period of time. We suggest at the dinner table and before everyone goes to bed.
A charging dock allows you to create specific times where you are unplugged as a family. It also reduces the risk of children being exposed to media you do not want them viewing.
Call Out Behavioral Changes
A little bit of respect can go a long way with children. If you are noticing the negative effects of too much screen time, sit down with them and have a talk about it. Help them understand how using technology makes them feel and how it is having bad consequences.
Most importantly, work on a solution together.
Lead by Example
It is hard to limit screen time for children if you are practically addicted yourself. Try to follow a similar set of rules as your children when it comes to media consumption, especially when you are together as a family. Talk with your child about why you may need to use a device or have screen time when they cannot.
Focus on wholesome activities the entire family can be engaged in. You may just find yourself benefiting from less screen time just as much as your little ones.
Jenny Silverstone is the mother of two, a coffee addict, and a mommy blogger. You can find her writing about topics such as technology, music, health, and safety, as well as giving little tips and tricks to become a more well-rounded parent on her blog MomLovesBest.com, or trying to pin the entire internet on Pinterest.