Discover what experts say are the best ways to help kids manage their screen time and protect their health. Learn how parents can set limits, use tech for educational purposes, create healthy media habits and more with these 8 strategies!
According to a recent report from Common Sense Media, the average American child spends more than seven hours a day looking at screens. That’s a lot of time spent staring at a mobile or tablet and it can have some pretty negative effects on kids’ development and well-being. Here are some strategies that experts say can make a difference.
Set limits on screen time and stick to them.
One of the best things parents can do is set firm limits on how much screen time their kids are allowed to have each day. This will help kids understand that there are other things that are just as important or even more important than screens. And when parents stick to those limits, it sends a clear message that screen time is not the most important thing in the world.
Put screens away during family meals and other quality time.
Family meals are a great opportunity for conversation and connection. But when screens are present, they can be a major distraction. For parents do make it a rule that screens must be turned off and put away during family meals. This will help everyone focus on each other and enjoy some quality time together.
Encourage kids to find other things to do when they’re bored.
Boredom is actually good for kids it’s an opportunity for them to use their imaginations and get creative. But too often, when kids get bored, they reach for a screen out of habit. It’s important to encourage children to find other things to do when they’re bored, like reading a book, playing with a toy, or going outside.
Model healthy screen habits yourself.
Kids learn by watching what adults do so if you want your kids to develop healthy screen habits. As parents, we need to model those habits. That means putting away your own phone during family meals. Do spend some quality time, limit your own screen time and find other things to do when you’re bored or need a break from work.
Create tech-free zones in your home.
There should be certain areas in your home where screens are not allowed like bedrooms and bathrooms. This will give everyone in the family some much-needed tech-free time every day. Everyone at home will knows the rules and follow them closely. There will be no exception given to anyone.
Make sure kids get enough sleep every night.
Getting enough sleep is crucial for kids’ physical and mental health. Sometimes but too often, screens interfere with sleep by making it harder for kids to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. So make sure your kids are getting enough sleep by setting limits on screen time before bed. We are ensuring their bedrooms are dark and quiet at night. When lights are off mobile usage must be put away.
Encourage outdoor playtime every day.
Spending time outdoors has so many benefits for kids it helps them stay active, gets them away from screens, We do want them to explore the world around them. So make sure your kids are getting some outdoor playtime every day.
Find educational apps and websites that support your child’s learning.
There are plenty of educational apps and websites out there that can support your child’s learning. And while there’s nothing wrong with using these resources occasionally, it’s important not to rely on them too much. Make sure your child is still getting plenty of hands-on learning experiences in addition to screen-based ones.
Screen time is becoming increasingly prevalent in our society. It’s more important than ever for parents to help their children develop healthy habits around screens.