In an era where technology dominates our lives, keeping off screens is easier said than done. We hear a lot about the lack of physical connection due to our devices that consume a lot of our time. Parents may be concerned when their kids spend too much time on devices such as smartphones, tablets and video games. In this article, we shall be discussing some ways how to reduce screen time for kids.
As parents, it is necessary to establish guidelines related to the use of devices and how much time is spent on them. It is important that kids learn early on about the appropriate contexts where devices can be used. One example would be to emphasise on the importance that devices are put down when people are talking to them. One of the common anti-social behaviours brought about by these devices is when people tend to ignore others when they are engaged, even when spoken to.
Although these devices allow people to remain connected with family and friends, children who are overly exposed to them may have increased anxiety and also experience cyberbullying. It is also of importance for parents to monitor the online activity of their kids and any addicting apps which may consume even more time.
Family agreement over screen time
One of the reasons why family members may feel isolated could be due to excessive screen time. In this regard, it would be ideal that family members agree between themselves what timeframes will be allocated for screen and quality time respectively. This will ensure consistency, clarity and a feeling of respect. Parents would need to ensure that their children are sticking to this agreement.
Leading by example
At a younger age, children would find understanding the purpose of restrictions on technology difficult. Children are more likely to follow the rules if their parents do so too. Telling your children to avoid screen time when you are constantly hooked on to your devices can lead to a feeling of unfairness, together with tension and frustration. The importance of serving as a role model here cannot be emphasised enough. One method to consider is coming up with ideas of activities and entertainment that do not require technology. These may include engaging in sports together and outdoor activities. This will allow you to embrace offline time together with your kids.
What do you think about the time spent by children in front of screens? Do you have any ideas to reduce the time they spend in front of these devices? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.