Tablets, phones, gaming consoles, and laptops have become a big part of our childrens’ lives.
This can be a good thing, with plenty of education and resources available to them at the tips of their fingers.
However, it is important that we limit the level of screen time our children engage in.
Too much screen time is not great for their eyes, their concentration levels, their sleep, and even their mood.
We know it isn’t easy to limit screen time, and as time goes on and technology advances, it gets harder and harder.
So, here are some of our top tips for limiting your child’s screen time to help you out.
Practice What You Preach
The best way to encourage a certain behaviour in your child is to model this behaviour yourself.
It will be much more difficult to convince your children that too much time behind screens is bad for them if you are spending a lot of time on your own screens.
Show your children that you are also limiting your screen time and that you are conscious about it, and it will be easier for them to follow.
Be open and accountable about when you are putting your phone away, and don’t let them simply pick up your bad habits.
Reward Good Behaviour
To help your children modify good behaviour on a long-term basis, make sure you are rewarding them for good behaviour when you see it.
Only telling our children off when they are “bad” doesn’t help them to develop good behaviour.
Rewarding them and encouraging their good behaviour will be much better for them and you will see the behaviours you want to see develop quicker and more easily.
If they put their tablet away without you asking, that gets a treat. If they pick up a book instead of their phone, there’s a treat.
Whatever the treat is can be up to you, but make sure they get it whenever they do well.
Don’t Give in To Tantrums
Your children might not be happy about their screen time being limited, but it is important to stay strong in the face of tears and tantrums.
Children can’t make decisions on what is best for them, you can.
We have to be strong and step in when we know our child is developing a bad habit, and just because they are resisting doesn’t mean we are in the wrong.
Don’t give in to tantrums and your child will realise tantrums won’t sway your opinion and be more likely to stop them.
It’s uncomfortable, but it’s important.
Children very often use screen time for entertainment and distraction, especially if you are busy with something else.
If you want to keep them occupied, you can’t expect them to do so with no stimulation.
Make sure they have books, toys, colouring-in books, and crafts to keep them occupied when they don’t have their screens.
Children didn’t have screens 50 years ago, and they still had fun.
Show your children that they don’t need screens to enjoy themselves, and this will decrease their dependency on them.