Playing online games, social media and the entire internet have been a dominant part of youth culture for some time now. Almost all children of all ages own some sort of device with which they can access their favourite websites or online games at any given time.
Every year more research is done on the effects of screen time on children, and every year more studies suggest that reducing computer usage would be beneficial to a child’s physical and mental health.
Here Are 8 Ways How Parents Can Reduce Their Kids Screen time
Install Content Filtering Software
Content filtering software allows parents to block unsuitable websites from their children’s view during certain hours of the day when they need to focus on homework or doing other more productive things that aren’t related to screens. By restricting access and view site, your child won’t be tempted to use technology when they should be studying instead.
Make sure your child knows how much screen time is allowed each day, week or month by setting limits with technology from an early age. By not having any limits in place, you will inevitably give your child unlimited access to technology, which will lead to them using it excessively.
Teach Self-Monitoring Skills
Start teaching your child self-monitoring skills at an early age. For example, if you notice that they spend too much time on the computer, the tablet or the phone during their free time, teach them to track how long they use devices each week.
They can then see for themselves whether or not they are spending too much time in front of screens every day and reduce their screen time accordingly.
When you feel like you should reduce your child’s amount of daily screen usage but find yourself unable to set limits yourself, timers provide a great solution by allowing parents to control what hours of the day technology is used without actually restricting access completely.
Turn off The Internet
If you find that your child is wasting too much time on the internet after setting reasonable limits, simply turn it off during certain hours of the day, for example, while doing their homework or studying for an important test. This will force them to do other activities instead of being stuck in front of a screen all night long.
Create Chore Charts with Incentives
Make sure your child does regular chores around the house by creating chore charts and rewarding them with points or gift cards each week when they have completed enough tasks. These points can then be exchanged for less screen time every month, which will make them more enthusiastic about doing chores around the house.
When your child is doing something important or has to study for a test at school, try not using your phone and computer so you can stay present and give them all of your attention. This will teach them to value their time with their parents and prioritise meaningful activities over scrolling through an Instagram feed whenever possible.
Set a Good Example
If you want your kids to use technology responsibly, you need to set a good example yourself by not constantly checking your phone when you are supposed to be spending time with them. Instead, take an occasional break from your screens for their sake and show them that it is possible to spend quality time away from devices.
This is a collaborative post.