If your household is anything like mine, screens are everywhere. Whether it’s the TV, the computer, phones, or tablets, there’s no escape. While technology is great for so many reasons, it’s so easy for it to take over our lives. I find myself grabbing my phone to check the weather almost every morning instead of hopping on my balcony to double check. It’s so easy to forget so many things can be done without technology, especially when you’re on a road trip with a screaming toddler. It can be hard to find the line between appropriate screen time and it taking over our kid’s lives. Here are a few tips for limiting screen time in your kid’s daily schedules.
Don’t Forbid Technology Altogether
It’s pretty common to hear stories of kids who are forbidden to eat sugar or indulge in cake on their birthdays and end up going crazy on their own. Some parents set very strict limits on what their kids are or are not allowed to have, which sometimes lead them to develop unhealthy habits. The same goes for technology. Is screen time the worst thing that can happen to a kid? Will it absolutely corrupt their lives? Possibly, but more than likely, no. But making it out to be a terrible thing and forbidding it forever makes it that much more interesting to kids. Instead, have a conversation about why it can be helpful, but also why it can be harmful. You can start the conversation about when technology becomes dangerous and why it needs to be used in moderation.
Make Sure You’re Practicing What You Preach
There’s absolutely no shame in technology. It’s good for so many things. To keep up with family schedules, grocery lists, and even ordering last minute things off of Amazon! We have so many things to juggle these days and technology is used for so much of it. However, we’re trying to teach our kids boundaries, right? So we have to set a good example. So if you’re trying to teach the kiddos not to be glued to a screen while walking through crowds of people, try to make sure you’re not doing it either.
Look Elsewhere For Fun
There’s no doubt that screen time for a kid is bunches of fun. Watching TV, playing games, and just pressing buttons is a heck of a lot of entertainment in one little device. That’s why technology can take over so quickly – everything is so easily accessible and in the palm of our hands. Try to encourage other activities that can be used for entertainment, too! Try doing DIY crafts, reading books, or even playing board games. This may not dissolve their obsession with having screen time but will give them something else to do when it’s time to put the screens away.
The best thing to do as a parent is to include your kids in conversations. Not everything is up for debate, but there are some topics that can heavily benefit from talking it through with your kiddos. Having screen time isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it’s important to not let it get out of control. What are some of the ways your family manages screen time at home? Leave your comments below!