Managing screen time for kids is essential because of the excess usage of different screens these days.
And while it has become an integral part of our lifestyle, excess usage can be harmful for children. Managing screen time for kids comes with health benefits like reducing obesity, creating more times for the kids to play and explore, and generally improving physical health.
Learning how to manage screen time for your child is therefore essential for their well-being. As a parent, you will also be able to keep a close eye on your kids’ activities on social media.
Are you worried that phones, TVs, or iPads can turn your kids into zombies? Read these strategies from experts and fellow parents to help you in managing screen time for kids.
How To Manage Screen Time For Your Child
Be A Role-Model
Managing screen time for kids requires you as a parent to be a role model to the kids. As you watch, remember that you are setting an example for your kids. The time you spend on screen teaches them about screen time. For example, do you keep the TV on for most of your day even though you are not actively watching it? Do you mindlessly scroll on your phone whenever you have some free time? These are not good screen modelling behavior for your kids. Therefore, make sure you’re not doing these.
Set Aside Time To Unplug From The Screen
The entire family should have designated time to unplug from technological devices. Learning how to manage screen time for your child may require that you put strict measures. These can include having all members keep away from their devices during dinner or two hours before bedtime. These measures make it easier in managing screen time for your kids and allow you and your family to spend quality time.
Set A Schedule For How To Manage Screen Time For Your Child
You will need to set a specific time when the kids are allowed to be on their devices. For example, you can allow 1 hour in the morning or the evening as you prepare dinner. Find a routine that works best for younger kids.
You can use a chip or token system for older kids with extracurricular activities and homework. For example, you can have four chips, representing 15 minutes, and your kid can cash in the chip anytime. After they cash in all the chips, there will be no more screen time. This way, your kids will have more control and learn to regulate their screen time. The rules must stand that the designated time for every chip is not negotiable.
Choose Binge Days
One way to manage screen time for your child is to allow your kids time to use technological devices on specific days of the week. For example, you can let your kids watch TV on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. You can choose what your kids will watch on these days. They’re not free to ask for screen time on any other day.
Alternatively, you can choose to only allow screen time on weekends. Following this practice will help reduce homework distractions and sleep during the week. If your binge days are on weekends, have activities to distract the kids. For example, plan to visit a park or a museum as a family or plan family games.
Seek A Reason From The Kids To Justify Their Use
Learning how to manage screen time may also require you to ask them to justify why they want screen time. The most important thing to do as a parent is to ensure they use that screen time wisely. It should not be just out of a habit. They can enjoy the screen time for entertainment; however, they should find more value in it. By questioning them, you will encourage your kids to think of what other things they can do on the device.
Be open to talking to your kids about what their preferences are rather than demonizing them. Your kids will appreciate your interest in what they are doing and be open to discussing challenges they find.
Download A Tracking App
You may use different screen time tracking and parental control apps in managing screen time for kids. You can monitor which apps are used and what’s the time spent on them. Learning how to manage screen time for your child will help you control the time spent on apps.
Start by collecting data on the apps and the amount of time used on these apps. The data you have will help you make many decisions. You can decide whether to limit the screen time and what can they access on the device. This strategy will work well for kids already owning their own internet devices.
You can also use the feedback to start a conversation about screen time with your children. The idea should be to reach an agreement, not replace the gadget for them. With a screen tracking app, you can limit the time by not allowing access after a certain period. As a parent, you need to be curious, investigative and take control of screen time.
Learning how to manage screen time for your child can seem very daunting. It is up to you as a parent or a caregiver to develop rules and guidelines. These should be able to help you set an appropriate amount of time your kids are online.
Though you can regulate screen time for your kids, using parental control tools may make it easier for you. We hope you can use the tips described in this article to manage your kids’ screen time. The benefits will significantly assist your kids in leading a healthy life.