How to Reduce Screen Time for Kids: 3 Things to Try

Posted April 27, 2020 by in Lifestyle
Child using a tablet

Are you looking to reduce your child’s screen time?  Let’s face it, kids today spent an inordinate amount of time behind screens. In fact, one study found that kids between the ages of 0 and 8 use screen media for an average of 2 hours and 19 minutes each day. While there are advantages to the progression of technology, it’s safe to say that too much screen time can have adverse effects on kids. 

If you’re wondering how to reduce screen time, you’ve come to the right place. We’re uncovering three simple tips that every parent can practice on a daily basis:

Child on tablet

  1. Set an Example

First and foremost, it’s important to remember that you’re setting an example for screen time as an adult. 

If you’re constantly behind the glow of your screen, it’s going to be challenging for your children to take your screen time limitations seriously. In order to preach safe and enjoyable screen time, it’s important to start with your own screen habits. 

If your child sees your reading a book, they’re more likely to pick up a book and read with you. It’s up to you to show your child that activities outside of screen time are equally as fun and even more rewarding. 

It’s also helpful to explain to your children that you may require excess screen time for work. For example, if you’re on a remote zoom meeting, this is going to increase the amount of time you’re spending behind your screen. Click here for a free Zoom background!  

  1. Outline the Risks

As a child, it can be challenging to understand why limiting screen time is important or even necessary. When a parent encourages their child to take a break from their screen, the act of doing so can be confusing from the perspective of the child. 

As adults, however, we understand the risks and implications with overexposure to screens. Not only can such exposure be harmful to our vision, but it’s also a significant contributor to obesity, loneliness and other mental health issues.

In fact, a recent study connecting screen time and mental health found that those who spend seven-plus hours on screens are twice as likely to suffer from depression. 

This is why it’s so important to be upfront and honest with your children as to why you’re choosing to limit their screentime. Using simple and concise wording, you can explain why overexposure to screen time can be negative for their mental and physical health.

From here, be sure to encourage alternate activities that are more healthy for the mind and the body. 

  1. Set Limited Viewing Times 

At the end of the day, you’re the parent and you make the rules. 

It’s your job to outline when and where your children can engage in screen media. With this, you can outline which hours and at what point in the day your children can enjoy engaging with their screens. 

This can also help to create a healthy routine for children. When they understand that their time on screens is limited, they’re all the more likely to engage more responsibility and actively enjoy their screen time. 

In using the above tips and tricks, you can look forward to creating a positive screen routine that works for your entire family. 

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