Ways to Combat Screen Time with your Kids
One of the biggest issues that a parent can face at the moment is screen time. With the big advances in technology and more children getting younger and younger using tablets and phones, it is understandable that it has become a big concern for parents.
After all, where do you draw the line? You know that technology is going to be part of your child’s life but at the same time, you want to ensure that they experience other things in their lives. So if you are serious about combating screen time then here are four ways to do it.
Lead by example
One of the first things that you can do is lead by example. The truth is, we can all be guilty of being on our phones. Checking emails, looking at social media, and responding to text messages.
However, if we are on our phones or tablets then our children are going to wonder why they can’t be. It doesn’t mean you can’t be on your phone, but try and cut down your screen time as well. Or at the very least, if you are asking your child to not use technology then you shouldn’t be using it either. Leading by example is a great way to encourage good habits.
Be realistic with the limits you want to put in place
When you decide that you want to reduce screen time you need to ensure that you are being realistic. Look at how much time your child spends watching TV, playing video games, or looking at a screen. Be realistic with your restrictions otherwise, it will be hard to make positive changes.
Start by setting smaller goals and increasing it over time. It will be easier for your child to stick to and should mean you get fewer objections. Ensure that you give them other things to do or make suggestions. At this time try and revert back to the first suggestion where you don’t use any screens or devices yourself during this time.
Another thing that you can do is look at removing screens at a time you want to reduce or stop screen time. This might be in the evening before bed, for example. Remove portable devices and place them on charging stations or pop them in a drawer so there is no temptation.
If you are really trying to stop screen time, then you may want to remove devices from bedrooms so that you can monitor how long your child stays on them. However, removing them for small periods of time at first can be an excellent step in the right direction.
Engage and do different things
Finally, if you are wanting to encourage a reduction in screen time then you need to encourage your child to do different things. Engage with them after school, organize clubs for them to attend or encourage new hobbies. You could spend some time with them playing a game, cooking, or spending time outside.
Here are some fun ways to spend time with your child giving them alternatives to screen time
- Set up a home based Treasure Hunt. We have treasure hunts for all ages so there is something to keep everyone entertained from young kids through to teenagers. They will be so busy solving the clues so you get to sit down a relax for a few moments while they are having fun.
- Play a board game - let them choose their favorite game to play
- If the weather is nice, set up a picnic in the backyard or pack up and take your picnic to the park
- Set out some arts and crafts to do
- Explore the neighborhood on a bike ride or walk
- Do some baking or cooking. Homemade pizzas are always popular. Or whip up some sushi or homemade ice-cream sandwiches
- Make a scrapbook together. Print off some photos of fun family times and create a memory scrapbook. You could work on this over a few weeks
- Get crazy and have a snowball fight in the Winter or a water balloon fight in the Summer
- Have a Backyard Camping Sleepover
- Build a blanket fort
- Do a puzzle. This is a nice relaxing activity and perfect if your child has had a busy day at school
- Play a card game. Go Fish is a popular game that never gets old
- Play charades
- Write out a bucket list
- Set up an obstacle course inside or in the backyard
- Do kid friendly yoga. This is bound to bring some laughs while you try to keep your balance in some of these poses
- Go on a scavenger hunt
- Visit the Library
- Make slime. This activity should keep them occupied right through until dinnertime!
- Get out the chalk and draw some pictures or hopscotch on the sidewalk
- Have a game of Trivia or Feud. This animal true or false game is a fun option for the kids
It's no secret that kids these days are spending more time than ever in front of screens. Whether it be playing video games, watching TV, or browsing the internet, screens have become a staple in most children's lives. Hopefully, these tips will help you to combat screen time with your kids.