Like most of the children these days, my kids can be glued to the screen for hours on end. Having said that, I, and I assume most parents, am constantly looking for ways to restrict their screen time. So, for all of you out there who are also struggling with this issue, here are a few screen time rules you should consider applying.
Lead by example. It’s hard for kids to see the importance of putting their phone away if we as their parents don’t do it ourselves. Make sure that during the mornings and bedtime routines you don’t have your phone on you. In addition, have a purpose for every time you use your phone – to check the weather or work-related emails. By doing so, your kids will see they need a reason to pick up their phones.
Set timers. Set timers on the devices so that your children could be informed on the amount of time they have in remanence. In addition, you can try a countdown -call out the time remaining out loud. Both can help prevent the scenario in which they are in the middle of something and have the device be taken away from them.
Remove the temptation. Place the devices in out of your children’s sight. Don’t give your kids their own devices until they are old and wise enough.
Set parental controls. Use parental controls to be informed on what your child does. Approve every app that they download, remove autoplay features, etc.
Teach them to prioritize. Teach them how to prioritize their duties and wishes correctly. For example, ban the use of devices until everything that has to be done is done. Let them earn the use of their devices.
Be present. Know when your kid is using their phone and what they are doing. Talk to them about the dangers that lay in overusing our devices and the importance of putting them down. Our kids are not bad kids because they are playing and exploring, they are testing the boundaries, so it’s important to set them.
Of course, these are just some options for you to try, as there are many more out there to explore. I hope you will find them useful. I believe it’s important to start restricting them when they are younger. It’s much harder to try and restrict a teenager if you don’t start endowing the healthy habits when they are younger. Good luck!