Screen time and kids can be a sensitive topic amongst parents. Numerous research have been published on the topic and everybody appears to have their very personal opinion on how a lot is too much, however the data is conflicting. Some declare that screen time can negatively impact the event of language and social skills, wreak havoc on a child’s sleep, and trigger stress, anxiety, and aggression, whereas others focus on all of the positives, just like the event of motor skills and coordination, elevated creativity and expressive language, and higher communication with household and friends.
Regardless of your views and opinions, we live in a day and age the place (almost) everything is done digitally, so rather than resisting digital use, maybe we ought to focus extra on setting boundaries on how our children spend time on their digital devices – and for how long. If you want to know how to restrict screen time for kids, we’re sharing 7 sensible tricks to get you started!
17 Pros and Cons of Screen Time for Kids
PROS OF SCREEN TIME FOR KIDS
- Can increase interplay between parents and children
- Helps keep kids safe in emergencies
- Educational apps and video games allow kids to learn and develop new skills
- Helps kids keep in contact with household and friends
- Games and apps can assist develop a child’s motor skills and coordination
- Can increase creativity and expressive language, particularly in children who’ve fine motor challenges that make conventional writing challenging
- Offers a way for nonverbal children to communicate
CONS OF SCREEN TIME FOR KIDS
- Parents don’t always monitor what their children are being uncovered to
- Can become addictive
- Some research suggest it can slow language development
- Causes sensory overload in some children
- Can increase stress and anxiety
- Decreases development of social skills
- Keeps kids sedentary
- Some research suggest it can trigger aggressive behavior
- Can negatively impact sleep
- Exposure to social media can result in an unhealthy physique image
How Much Is Too Much Screen Time for Kids?
Unfortunately, there is no definitive reply when it involves setting parameters for screen time for kids. A lot of variables want to be considered, collectively with the child’s age, how they’re spending their time online, whether or not or not they suffer from developmental challenges like ADHD, autism, or ODD, etc.
With that said, the general consensus appears to suggest that screen time ought to be avoided for children under 18 months with the exception of video chatting. When introducing screens to kids on the year-and-a-half mark, a lot of the on-line literature suggests limiting publicity to educational shows and apps to start with, and limiting children aged 2-5 to a most of 1 hours of screen time per day.
Again, there is no hard and quick rule when it involves kids and screen time. It all comes down to how the time is being used, if it’s interfering with other, extra healthy activities, if the parent notices a rise in poor behaviors and/or a lower in high quality of sleep, if it’s creating stress and anxiety, etc.
If you want to know how to restrict screen time for kids, we’ve sharing our greatest tips below!
How to Limit Screen Time for Kids [7 Tips]
1. Lay down floor rules
If you’re within the midst of attempting to determine how to restrict screen time for kids and you’re worried how your little one will react to the idea of much less time on their pill and/or smartphone, a good first step is to have an open and honest dialogue with your child. Instead of arbitrarily imposing new guidelines on him or her, make them a half of the decision-making process. Explain the risks of an excessive quantity of screen time, ask them how they’re utilizing their digital devices, and are available up with some floor guidelines together. You might want to chop again overall usage, set guidelines on sure types of exercise (i.e. YouTube or social media), or make screen time contingent on different behaviors (i.e. ending homework and doing chores).
2. Be a good role model
It’s no secret that our children watch our every move, so if you wish to know how to restrict screen time for kids, it solely makes sense that you want to be a good role model. While it’s fine to mindlessly scroll through your Instagram feed for a couple of minutes when you want to decompress, spending hours upon hours on social media isn’t the kind of precedent you want to set for your child. Get into the behavior of enforcing screen-free time all through the day to engage with your family, and be extra purposeful with how you’re utilizing your digital devices round your children.
3. Actively encourage different activities
Some analysis means that screen time contributes to weight problems in children due to a lack of bodily activity, and whereas I agree that digital devices trigger kids to be extra sedentary, it’s our duty as parents and caregivers to encourage our kids to be extra active. It’s very easy to make use of tablets as babysitters, and we have to do a greater job of getting concerned and inspiring ourselves and our children to get up and get moving! If you want to know how to restrict screen time for kids, get into the behavior of organizing enjoyable actions that get your kids away from their screens.
4. Set daily time limits
If you’re worried your little one is spending an excessive quantity of time on their digital devices, one other nice tip is to impose a daily time limit. For example, you may solely allow one hour of screen time after school on weekdays, and 2 hours on weekends and holidays after homework and chores have been completed. Worried you won’t be able to implement a rule like this successfully? Have no fear! There are tons of apps you can set up in your child’s device to permit you to monitor and restrict screen time. A quick search on Google will give you choices for your particular device!
5. Create ‘electronic free’ zones and times
As talked about earlier, some research level out that screen time may trigger sensory overload, interfere with sleep, lower the event of social skills, and impair language development. If you’re attempting to determine how to restrict screen time for kids, consider designating sure locations and/or times of the day as ‘screen free’. For example, in case your child struggles with sleep, you may make his or her bed room a screen-free zone, or in case your child is struggling with language and/or social skills, you may prohibit screen time at meals, all through playdates, within the car, and at any different time your child has an opportunity to socialize with others.
6. Use it as a reward
Like many children, my daughter enjoys watching toy unboxing tutorials on YouTube, and since I’m not a fan of her spending her on-line time watching different people play with toys, I’ve turned it right into a reward. I purchased a reward chart we can customise ourselves, and we labored collectively to identify a list of chores my daughter can tackle every day so as to earn time on YouTube. At first, she earned a sure quantity of YouTube time for every check she earned, however now that she’s older and in full-time school, she is aware of that she has to full all of her daily chores so as to earn screen time after school. It has been very efficient and motivating!
7. Setup parental controls
I touched on the idea of setting up parental controls earlier, however desired to name it out as a separate level as I think it’s important. There are lots of nice parental management apps you can set up in your child’s digital devices that not solely allow you to monitor what your child is doing (and seeing) online, however additionally allow you to set time limits on their screen time. This can be actually useful in conditions when you can’t monitor your child closely (i.e. whereas you’re on an important phone call, when your child is with a babysitter, etc.).
If you want to know how to restrict screen time for kids, I hope the tips and ideas on this post show useful to you! Remember to educate your kids and include them within the choice making process, to be a good role model, to set limits, and encourage actions with out screens as often as possible!
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