Most people would agree that today’s generation spends a significant amount of time on screen - mobile phones, laptops, or other gadgets. Yet, few people are able to curb their habits and take some time off from screens. And even fewer know how to help their children navigate the media-drenched world we live in.
Let us look at:
A) Risks and health problems involved with too much screentime in kids
B) Easy ways to help limit screen time for your kids
A) The risk involved with too much screentime
Children carry a much higher risk of childhood obesity.
They are more likely to display aggressive behavior. Children naturally copy what they see. (For a simple, chilling experiment, allow your son to watch professional wrestling and see how long it takes before he tackles his sister).
Children are more likely to engage in “risky behaviors” when they get older.
Have less energy and are lethargic or feel tired easily.
Kids are exposed to commercials, advertisements, and propaganda, which could be harmful in their development.
B) Tips to help limit screen time for your kids
1. Set the right example: Children will always gravitate toward the modeled behaviors of their parents. If they see you reading a book, they are more likely to read. And if they see you watching television, so will they.
2. Make tough decisions: It is your job to encourage healthy behaviors and limit unhealthy ones – sometimes this means making unpopular decisions like limiting your children’s screen time. Make these tough decisions for your children. And always go to the next step of explaining why you have made the decision.
3. Set limited viewing times: Allow children to watch television only at fixed timings. It is much easier to limit their viewing habit if they understand that they can only watch their favorite program for a limited duration.
4. Encourage other activities: Provide the necessary resources (books to read, board games, art supplies, and/or sporting equipment) for them to be engaged in other activities.
5. Play with your kids: Get down on the floor with your kids and pick up a doll, truck, or ball. It takes intentionality and selfless love when they are 6 But when they turn 13, you’ll be glad you did.
6. Be involved in their lives: For many parents, it is just easier to turn on the television than to actually be involved in the lives of their children. But those intimate life details are required for successful parenting. So observe, listen, ask, and parent.
7. Observe your child’s behavioral changes: Television has an immediate impact on your child’s behavior. Be on the look-out for these behavioral changes. When you start to notice them yourself, you’ll be less inclined to put your kids in front of the screen.
8. Value family meals and car rides:
In most families, dinner is mostly in front of the television which causes distractions and limits family bonding. . TValue those times with your kids. Don’t let the TV steal them from you.
In conclusion, limiting your child’s screen time may seem like an impossible chore or it may seem like a battle. But it is worth fighting for