It’s no secret that technology is a huge part of everyday life, but it’s clear that it can sometimes be a distraction, especially for your kids. A recent survey revealed that 65% of parents said that their children spent at least 1-3 hours a day on gadgets, mobile phones, laptops or watching TV. Here at Tutor Doctor, we know that banning technology isn’t the answer, however we believe that screen time should be considered a privilege. That’s why we’ve come up with some easy ways you can encourage your child to limit their screen time and get them to stick to it.
Remind your children to limit screen usage
Banning technology isn’t very realistic, but it’s important to make sure your kids are aware that you are paying attention to how much time they are on a screen. Gently remind them that they shouldn’t be spending all of their spare time on their phone or watching TV and encourage other activities instead.
Encourage exercise and other activities
Try and encourage your kids to spend more time taking part in sports and exercise, as it will distract them from technology and get them outside in the fresh air. Activities such as swimming, horse riding, basketball, tennis and ballet not only get your children active but they’re also loads of fun. You might even be surprised at how much they enjoy doing something different for a change!
If the weather isn’t so great there are loads of other hobbies that your kids can get involved in that don’t involve the TV or their mobile phone. Scrapbooking, reading, baking and playing board games are bound to keep them occupied- they may just need some friendly encouragement to see what they can achieve without technology. Remember, the key to limiting your child’s screen time is balance, moderation, flexibility and compromise.
Create screen rules together
A really simple way to get your children to actively limit their screen time is to create some rules together. By doing it this way your kids will feel involved and not as if they are being told what to do.
Start by sitting down together and write up some clear rules, along with a few ideas for rewards if they do well. Here are a few suggestions of rules to implement together.
- No texting during meals, either at home or in a restaurant
- No TV during meals
- No TV until after all homework and chores are done
- The TV gets turned off at a set time every night
- No TVs or laptops in their bedrooms
Watch your own screen habits
Your children may not always listen to you but you are still their role model. It’s important that you are living by the same rules that you set them. So if you tell your kids that they need to cut back on TV time then you need to make sure you’re doing the same. If they can see that you are trying the likelihood is that they will too!