In today’s world, it can be a hard task to unplug your kids from their screen time. Technology has become a sort of addiction for children and adults alike. Too much screen time can lead to social development delays and poor behavior. So how do you reverse this effect?
Children are often given technology as a way of entertainment so parents can focus on other things. However, this can easily become a bad habit. Once your child starts to become accustomed to this past time, it is hard to pull them away from it. On the bright side, there are a few things you can do to change up your routine and entertain your child in healthier ways.
Plan Ahead to Unplug
Most people have a general daily routine. Reflect on your daily routines and take note of your child’s downtimes. Plan your day ahead of time so you know when these downtimes will be. During downtimes, think of different ways you can entertain your child without giving them screen time. When you plan ahead, you will have less on-the-spot times where your child needs to be entertained.
Create indoor or outdoor activities for your child to participate in. These activities can be something small and easy, like playing with play-doh. They can also be bigger activities that require your participation too, like baking or building something together. Instead of handing your child a tablet, go outside and teach them how to make mud pies or draw with chalk. This is a great opportunity to spend quality time together as well.
Unplug With Your Child
If your child is bored, they could be simply satisfied with your company. Unplug with your child and enjoy an activity together. Sit down and talk about their day, or ask them to tell you a story. Play a board game or a card game together. You can also let them help you cook lunch or dinner. If you need to work around the house, let your child help you. Use this opportunity to teach your child a new skill, while also spending time together.
Set Limits on Screen Time
Not all screen time is bad. Some games and shows are very educational for your children to play or watch. Instead of taking screen time away completely, set a strict time limit on it. This way, your child will still be able to enjoy these activities without overindulging in them.
Stay consistent with your rules on screen time. Create a daily rhythm for you and your child to follow. Your child’s mood will benefit from this and they will expect screen time less often. If you designate a specific time for your child to play games or watch their shows, they will learn to expect it at that time. Any other time, they won’t be as disappointed when the answer is no. It is also important that the whole family follows the rules and stays consistent. Doing this will provide an example for your child to follow.
Living in a tech-obsessed world makes it hard to separate from screen time. However, with a little patience, practice, and redirection of attention, your child will learn to rely on screen time less often.