Many American children enjoy an average of three hours watching television daily with a total of five to seven hours of collective screen time if you count them playing tablet or video console games. Here are seven ways to minimize screen time for your children.
Parenting is a lovely, but stressful experience. Take some time to unwind after the kids go to bed by playing swiss casino or one of your other favorite casino games.
Table of Contents
1. Split Screen Time Into Chunks
Try to plan the day with different engaging activities with screen time split into chunks in between them. Hence, giving your child a schedule can help them to know what to expect, especially when you are home all day during the weekend or if you regularly stay home with them throughout the week.
For example, you can allow the children to have free play time while you get breakfast together and up to a half hour of screen time as you are preparing lunch. Think of what ways your child likes to have fun away from the screen and set out these activities for them as you work on your household responsibilities. When you are finished, you can jump into the fun, too!
2. Get Them Involved In Household Chores
Little ones can help at any age with household chores. Teach toddlers to pick up and throw away various trash items. Ask your school-age child to load the dishwasher or sweep the floor.
Your teenager can take out the trash or assist with one of the tasks related to cleaning up after dinner. It is never too early to teach your children responsibility by getting them involved in assisting you with household chores within reason for their age.
3. Encourage Outside Activities
Now, this can be difficult during the winter time in the bitter cold (except if it is snowing a blizzard outside) but try to encourage your children to enjoy outside activities as the weather allows.
Too much screen time can lead to childhood obesity as little ones remain stuck in front of the television. Sunlight is a natural source of Vitamin D that can boost your children’s energy levels. Plus, getting outside reassures your kids get the exercise they need to lead healthy lives.
- Rake and jump in a pile of leaves.
- Go apple or pumpkin picking.
- Go hiking at a local state park.
- Play frisbee.
- Collect leaves and go inside to make leaf art with paints or crayons.
- Play touch football.
- Plant a garden.
- Go bird watching.
- Pack a picnic and go to a local playground.
- Visit the local zoo.
- Go to an ice cream stand for dessert after dinner.
- Make a DIY water park in your backyard with slip and slides, a water balloon fight area, bobbing for apples, etcetera.
- Visit the beach or a splash pad.
- Set up a tent for a night of camping at home.
- Draw on the sidewalk with chalk.
- Go berry picking.
4. Be the Example
Individuals throughout the world browse their social media feeds an average of two and three-quarter hours every day. Be an example to your children and find other ways to entertain yourself without browsing on social media or your preferred screen time consumption methods.
When your children are engaging in free play, join along in their game if you’d like. Alternatively, you can take 15 minutes to catch up on a good book or engage in one of your favorite off-screen hobbies. As your children see you on the screen less, they become more willing to do the same.
5. Set Alarms
When you allow your child to watch television, set an alarm on your phone or set a kitchen timer. This sets the expectation that they have until that alarm goes off to enjoy their favorite television programming. It may be easier for children highly attached to the screen to pick a favorite activity to do once their time is up before beginning screen time.
6. Hide the Television Remotes
Kids are smart. Some of them have already taught themselves how to turn on the television and channel surf or how to operate a television streaming service. When it is time for a new activity, hide the television remotes in a designated spot away from children’s reach so it reduces the temptation of sneaking additional screen time.
7. Designate Screen Free Zones in the Home
Set the tone and designate where you do not want your children to enjoy screen time. For youth with cell phones, you can allow smartphone use in the living room, but have them turn the devices off before bedtime. Institute a cell phone ban at the kitchen or dining room table to encourage family bonding over nightly dinners.
Minimizing screen time keeps your children’s creativity sharp, helps them to sleep better, and improves behavioral habits. Think about a screen time schedule that works for you and your family and stick to it.