With easy access to televisions, tablets and phones at school and at home, kids and teens are spending a lot of time staring at a screen. Whether they are watching a video or talking to a friend, screens can be very distracting and draining if looked at for a long period of time. Luckily, there are multiple ways that parents can manage screen time! Here are our recommended tips:
Encourage Time Outside
No matter what time of year it is, there are plenty of outdoor activities to take advantage of! This could be as simple as going to the park, playing catch, shooting hoops, going on a bike ride or skateboarding. Exercise and social interaction are just two benefits of outdoor activity that can not be provided through a screen.
Lead By Example
If you are always looking at a screen, your kids and teens are going to think that it is acceptable for them to do that as well. In order to manage your kid’s screen time, you should take breaks with them and encourage the importance of stepping away for a little while.
Set Technology-Free Time
Family meals are easy opportunities to start implementing technology-free time. Make sure your kids and teens know that when it is breakfast, lunch or dinner time, there are no TVs, tablets or phones at the table. You can also set technology-free time in the morning or during bedtime too!
Use Parental Controls
Most devices have the option to set parental controls. There are options to lock apps until a certain time of day or allow only so much time on the device before it is time for a break. You can utilize these features to set limits.
Have Tech-Free Options Accessible
Make sure there are options besides the TV, phone or tablet! This could be card games, board games, homework, reading, coloring, puzzles or even going on a family hike as a few examples. This way, your kids and teens don’t always have to use their devices to stay entertained.
We understand that there are plenty of reasons for kids and teens to stay glued to an electronic device, but it is important for their health and well-being to step away! We hope you implement some of these tips to minimize the amount of screen time in your home.
For more information, read our post titled “The Effect of Screen Time on Child Development.”