As parents, we all know that kids often want to do little more than sit in front of their screens and consume content mindlessly. If we’re honest, it’s something that adults do plenty of as well. However, it’s important to consider the impact of too much screen time and what we’re potentially missing out on when too much time is spent staring at screens and not taking part in other activities too. Find out more on this below.
Be a Role Model
First of all, you need to think about how your own habits impact the time your kids spend looking at screens. If you’re always looking at your phone or sitting in front of the TV, you can’t really expect your kids to be doing anything different. They’ll follow your lead because you’re their parent and they look to you for guidance. When a parent does something, young children tend to follow suit, so keep that in mind.
Set Aside Family Time Away from Screens
You should try to set aside some time during the week for your family to be together doing things that don’t involve looking at screens. That might involve going outside and doing something active as a family or it might be about playing a board game or something like that. Having those moments when you can escape the screen as a family unit is really important.
Use Parental Control Settings
If you’re worried about how much time your child is spending on mobile devices or other electronics, you could always take a look at the parental settings on these devices. They tend to be very good these days, putting parents in control of how much access their kids have to devices and how much time they can spend using them. It’s definitely something worth exploring.
Encourage Alternative Hobbies and Activities
You should encourage your kids to develop hobbies and to spend time on activities away from the screen, where possible. If they have things that they enjoy that don’t involve sitting watching a TV, tablet or phone, they’ll be less motivated to spend all of their time doing that. It’s up to you to offer up activities that you think they might enjoy if they’re not currently doing those things.
It is particularly important to encourage good fitness and well-being to keep your child’s body healthy and their mind positive, as much as possible. If needed, there are ways that you can make a deal with your child in terms of screen time when motivating them to carry out physical exercise. There are online fitness programmes available, such as Primary PE Planning that your child’s school may offer, which provide fun PE games and lessons that should help get your child up and moving about!
Keep the Bedroom Screen-Free
The last thing you want is for you kids to be hiding away in their room spending all their time looking at screens. That’s why you should try to keep their bedroom screen-free zone. As a parent, you’ll be able to control this when they’re younger, but it can be more difficult as they grow up. So try to keep the room as free of screens as possible for as long as possible.
Most parents don’t want their kids to spend too much of their time sitting in front of the screen. It’s not always the healthiest way to spend time and it can have long-term consequences, so it’s important to consider the steps you take to manage this challenge without creating conflict with your kids.