7 Steps to Reduce Screen Time of Your Child
I was traveling on the train last week, and I had this young boy seated beside me with his sister. I was just on my own, ‘Netflix and chilling’ and the boy tapped me asking – “do you have a game?” I laughed and replied, not for kids. Then it dawned on me how kids are just so interested in playing with gadgets these days – even a 2-year-old child can conveniently navigate through the parents’ phone and launch a game app.
There is this saying that older parents utter, that the newer generation of children is getting smarter for their age. I believe that this is true, and we can largely attribute this to the evolution of technology. Researchers have suggested that parents should avoid screen time for toddlers and young children. If your child is also addicted to the screen, here are ways in which you can keep him or her away from it or at least limit exposure.
1. Engage children in more Family time
Engaging your child in activities can effectively keep him or her away from the screen. Families can plan group activities like board games or making crafts. Interesting activity boxes for children are also available that help instills creative or constructive thoughts.
2. Create tech-free zones at home
To reduce your child’s exposure to the screen, make sure you keep some spaces at home tech-free, especially your child’s bedroom and the dining room. This will ensure your child’s eating and sleeping habits are not affected.
3. Make your child read books
Your child would be spoilt for choice with the variety of children’s books, including picture books, which are now available in the market. The beautiful illustrations are sure to grab your child’s attention while instilling the love for reading in him or her.
READ MORE: Screen Time: When Is It Too Much For Kids?
4. Keep the gadgets out of sight
Out of sight will obviously lead to less use. Kids grab things that are within their reach. Limiting accessibility will limit the use as well.
5. Be a role model
Build this habit in yourself first. Your child can pick this habit only after seeing you. Limit your screen time indulgence in front of your child.
6. Set a schedule
Assign a time of the day when your child can watch television or use other gadgets. This could be the time when the family watches television together or plays some video games. This will also ensure parents’ control over the content their child is being exposed to.
7. Talk to your kids
Your child deserves to know why he or she is not being allowed to watch television or play with a mobile device for too long. Make them understand the pros of screen time and the cons of excessive use of it.