In today’s fast-paced digital world our children are spending far too much time on devices, from entertaining them while they sit at home to completing their education. As parents, we know that all of this screen time affects everything from our child’s sleep to their ability to focus and general behavior. The good news is that there are several things you can do as a parent to help reduce your child’s screen time without a fight.
Kids tend to get upset and throw fits when we take away devices without giving them another outlet. Think about the last time you put your device down. Was picking your phone back up a habitual move? This same effect gets to our children and it is not their fault. Instead of starting a fight with them work on gently reducing screen time and be understanding that it is not easy on them should they get upset.
School work can be done different ways
A lot of our children are completing their schooling on devices right now. A great way to reduce their screen time is to look for ways for them to step away from devices while they learn. Good old fashioned paper books or fun and easy science experiments you can find on Pinterest are great ways to help your child learn while stepping away from computers and tablets so they can give their eyes a break and really get their minds working.
Plan activities to get them outside
When playing outside our kids are less likely to miss their devices. Children and meant to be out playing and being active. Plan an outing to the park, a picnic, or a trip to go fishing at a nearby lake or pond. When your child is busy with a screen-free activity that engages them they will be content leaving phones in their pockets just like we are.
Set an example for your child
When they see you willing to put down your devices they will be more willing to put theirs down as well. Make a point to leave your devices away from you at different points in the day giving your child your full attention. Expecting them to put them down while we are still on ours is not a reasonable act. Instead, show them that there can be so much more fun to be had when not having our eyes glued to a screen and they will quickly forget the devices for a short while when they are out of sight and you are having quality time together such as at meals or while playing games together.
Create screen-free zones in your home and stick to them
Simply assigning screen-free areas like the bathroom and the dining room table can quickly reduce the time your child is on a device in small chunks through the day that really adds up and helps to reduce the dependency on devices.