Digital technology is everywhere. Walk into town, look around in a shop or a café and you will see an abundance of people on their mobile phones. It has become normal to communicate with others via digital technology and it can be very beneficial.
However, despite the importance of understanding and using digital technology, your children need a limit on the amount of screen time they have. This is important to ensure they develop normal social skills and even gain the physical dexterity to tackle life.
However, before you start calculating how much screen time your child should have and when you offer it, check that the child care center you are using minimizes screen time as well. There is little point in you restricting their screen time if they are free to use screens all day at their child care center.
The general guidelines are no screen time for children under two, one hour a day for children between 2-12 years old, and two hours for children over 12 and adults.
Offer Other Activities
If your child isn’t on the screen they will need something to do to keep their young brain stimulated. You can’t just decline screen time, this is the perfect opportunity to get them interested in other activities and clubs.
Suggest things that your child may be interested in to encourage them to get off and stay off the screen.
Lead By Example
Children emulate their parents and other loved ones. Therefore, if they see you on the screen all the time they are likely to want to copy. An effective way of minimizing their screen time is to minimize your own. If you are constantly picking up your phone ask yourself why and make an effort not to pick it up, your child will notice.
Get Rid Of Temptation
You can’t throw digital devices away but you can insist they are put away or left in a specific spot when not in use. This reduces the attraction as they are out of sight and makes it less likely that your child will think about them.
It is important to designate times when screens are not allowed. This is especially true when you eat, or when you are playing family games, etc. By creating dedicated times when screens are not allowed your children become accustomed to this and won’t be asking for their screens.
As well as creating screen free times you can create screen times, that’s when they are allowed on their devices to look at whatever they need to.
Undertake Physical Activity
This ties many of the previous techniques together. Get your children out of the house and doing something outside. The outdoors stimulates curiosity and makes you feel good. You’ll find it is addictive and even children that adore screens will be open to playing a little.
Of course, you need to be consistent with the rules you set for your children and yourself. You will then ensure they minimize their screen time, something they may thank you for in the future!