These days, just about everyone uses screens. Whether it be your cell phone, tablet, laptop, or TV, it’s just a part of life we can’t really get around.
Although screens can be a great way to keep your kids entertained when you need them to be, they can also be extremely harmful if used for too long. That’s why it’s important to limit the screen time you allow your children.
Granted, this is easier said and done which is why we’ve come up with these tips and tricks to help build positive screen-time habits within your family.
Set Rules and Boundaries
One of the best things you can do to minimize screen time is to set rules for everyone in your family. Give them each an allotted weekly screen time and then divide it up however you see fit.
You can also make sure your kids aren’t using screens after hours by keeping televisions out of their bedrooms and being sure to remove any tablets or laptops from their rooms. This way, they won’t serve as a distraction during bedtime or when they are supposed to be finishing homework.
Don’t Use Screens to Deal with Tantrums
One of the worst things you can do is pacify your child by handing them a screen. This will only condition them to think that every time they act out, they will be rewarded with a screen. This is a difficult task but once your child knows a screen won’t stop their tantrums, it shouldn’t be a problem anymore.
Give Your Kids Other Alternatives
Another way to limit the amount of screen time used by your kids is to give them other options. Plan an activity for them outside or find an easy craft that you can do with them or that they can do on their own.
Even better, put on a song and have your kids come up with a dance for it! There are dozens of ways to keep your kids entertained and using screen time should be the last alternative.
Be a Good Role Model
Your kids are going to follow in your footsteps, so make sure you are setting a good example for them when using your screen. Try not to be on your phone in front of them and if you are, explain why you’re on it.
Read a book, listen to music, or do anything else that doesn’t involve screens when your kids are around. This way, they will see that if you can avoid using screens, then so can they.
Be sure to inform those around you that you are trying to keep your kids from using screens and ask them to avoid screens around your kids as well.
At the end of the day, you won’t always be able to keep your kids off 3screens, but you can minimize their dependency early on by teaching them how to have a balanced relationship with technology. The CleanerNet is a great tool that many families use to establish boundaries and to minimize time online. Be sure to visit thecleanernet.com for more information.