With the advances in technology, children at a young age are getting more and more screen time on mobile phones and tablets. Although this can be an interesting way to captivate your children’s attention and provide them with educational content, there can also be downsides to allowing your children to have too much screen time. Lack of sleep, irregular sleep schedules and deteriorating eyesight are just some of the side effects that could happen to children who have too much screen time.
There are some guidelines you can set to help you better manage your children’s screen time.
1. Make rules about screen use
You can start off by creating a set of rules and specific time periods that screen use is allowed daily. Another rule that could be set is restricting the type of content your child is exposed to. With this, you can prevent your child from accessing content that may not be age-appropriate for them. You can also set rules for where your child can use the screens. One example is not allowing for any screen use during meal times or studying periods.
2. Limit your own screen time
You are the best role model for your children to follow so you could opt to set a good example by reducing your own recreational screen time. Walk the talk and let your children believe that less screen time can be good for them as well.
3. Aim for short screen time sessions
Try to structure for short screen use for your children by encouraging them to take a 15 minutes break for every 30 minutes of screen use. You can also use a timer to remind your child to take a break and also encourage them to participate in more active activities during the break such as going out to play.
4. Use apps to help manage screen time
Some applications can also be installed to control your child’s screen time by limiting the time that the application in use can be opened. Once the timer on the app use runs out, the application can be automatically closed so your child is not able to extend their screen use at all.
5. Keep screens out of bedrooms at night
Keep smartphones and tablets out of your child’s bedrooms to prevent them from sneaking in some extra screen use after lights out. This way, they can focus on what truly matters – their sleep time.