Today everything in the world has gone digital, which is why, our kids spend more time in front of the screen than outside in the backyard. This ever-growing pattern proves that children and pre-teens across the globe are getting more and more addicted to their digital devices with every passing day. While it is important for kids to be technologically savvy but it is equally vital for them to reduce their excessive screen time. The solution here is to strike a balance between the two by drawing out some interesting ways to reduce screen time for kids. However, first, let’s understand why excessive screen time is something parents should be concerned about.
While digital devices are a significant part of many children’s lives now, long hours in front of the screen can cause a whole range of health issues such as chronic fatigue, exhaustion, headaches, neck and shoulder pain, strained eyes and much more. While cutting off total access to digital devices is impossible now, here are some interesting ways to limit their usage.
#1 Create ‘technology-free’ zones
Children today have the habit of carrying their smartphones or tablets wherever they go. It is ideal to establish zones in your house that are strictly technology-free. For example, no cellular devices, video games or tablets are allowed in the kitchen or the dining room. Those areas are reserved just for healthy family discussions.
#2 Make use of their screen-time productively
While children today simply cannot escape technology, parents can make sure they are making good use of it. For example, parents and educators across Dubai, UAE, GCC and the Middle East are signing their kids up on CodeMonkey where they can learn coding online in a fun, engaging and interactive manner in a game-based environment. In this way, they can make good use of their time in front of the screen.
#3 Set a ‘Digital Detox’ time
Set aside some amount of time during the day when the entire family has to unplug from any and all digital devices. This time can be used to catch up with family members and spend quality time together. However, it is important for the entire family to follow this rule and not just make the children do it.
#4 Explain the reason behind limited screen-time
Children today are much smarter than we think. Don’t cut off their access to technology without giving them a legitimate reason. They might consider this treatment ‘harsh’ or ‘mean’ and resist your efforts to limit screen time. Instead, make them understand the disadvantages and the harmful consequences of digital explosion. In that case, they are more likely to follow the rules you have set.
#5 Encourage offline activities
Encourage your child to participate in activities that do not require a screen. In today’s scenario, it is so easy for your kid to become reliant on technology for entertainment. This is why you must encourage activities like reading a book, playing sports, exploring nature etc. A good way of making them interested in offline activities is to practise them yourself. Children have the tendency to model their parents. If they see you enjoying a basketball game in your backyard, they are more likely to participate themselves.
Putting down the phone is certainly a challenging task for many young children today and it is a growing concern among parents. This is why setting some ground rules to limit screen time can help you and your child strike a balance between healthy access to technology and offline activities.