Do you ever worry that your little one is getting too much screen time? It’s not as easy to monitor it as perhaps we first thought, with the average recommended screen time for a 2-5 year old limited to just one hour per day, it’s no wonder that parents are concerned.
With the worry of over stimulation, mood swings, and of course the disruption of sleep thanks to the blue light emitted from screens – check out blue blocking glasses and transition lenses by clicking the link – many parents are wondering how they can limit their child’s screen time without the onslaught of a tantrum, or the guilt that they’re denying them something that they enjoy.
Well, read on for some super simple ways you can limit your child’s screen time, and even limit your own in the process.
Set an example
It might seem obvious, but children are always more likely to copy the behaviors that they see their parents partake in. So, if they see you watching TV for hours on end or endlessly scrolling down your newsfeed then they’ll want to do the same. Leave your phone in the other room and opt for a book instead. You might just notice that they start to imitate your preferences!
It’s not easy, but no one said being a parent is! Saying the word “no” is often the hardest one you have to say to your little ones. But rather than just confiscating smart devices and turning off their favorite cartoon channel so you can watch the news, explain to them the importance of limiting screen time, and why you’re not punishing them, but you have their health in mind. This will reinforce your decision and they’re less likely to argue it.
Set limited times
If you don’t want to turn off the TV completely, or take away their smart devices, then you could limit viewing times. For example, they could watch one show on a morning before school and then another one when they come home. If your child is a little older and has a tablet or smart device, set a timer on it, or give them a little independence and ask them to turn it off after a certain amount of time.
Encourage something else
Provide them with plenty of other activities to entertain them with and they’ll gladly turn away from the screens. Painting, reading, board games, dolls and toys. Make sure they’re all accessible and easy to set up.
Play with them
You’re undoubtedly exhausted after a broken night’s sleep, and the last thing you want to do is get on the floor and play with some plastic toys. But your child will love it. And when they’re 13 and growing up too fast you’ll be so glad that you did.
Don’t allow family time to center around the TV
Many families have TV on during dinner…but this is when we have the opportunity to communicate and discuss our days. The same applies to a car journey. Allow yourselves time to talk, and spend time together.