4 PARENTING TIPS ON HOW TO REDUCE EXCESSIVE SCREEN TIME FOR CHILDREN
- 21 November 2023
Has getting your child to reduce their screen time being a struggle? With screens present everywhere, keeping children off and mobiles is really a challenge. Moreover, these devices are increasingly becoming essential tools for both learning and entertainment. Well, I am sure there were times where you lay exhausted after a long shouting match or physical tussle with them to get back the TV remote or phone not knowing what to do. According to a research by American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology teens spend about 9 hours a day in front of screens like smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles, TVs, and computers while children (8-12) spend 6 hours. It can have detrimental effects on children, including behavioral problems, addiction, depression, sleep disturbances, obesity, and delayed social development.
Don’t worry we at Oakridge completely understand your situation and I have 4 amazing parenting tips that can help you get through this situation.
Children often learn by observing parents and other family members. If you want your child to limit screen time, it’s crucial for the entire family to do the same. Lead by example; reduce your own screen time, be it on smartphones or watching TV. Many parents spend most of their time on their smartphones or watching TV but tell their children not to use them. By being a good role model, you’ll likely see your child naturally follow suit.
In the midst of busy lives, parents may find limited time to spend with their children. In the absence of parental company, children often turn to screens for companionship. UNICEF’s 2020 Worlds of Influence report compares the “health, skills and happiness” of children in the world’s 41 richest countries, with some thought-provoking findings. Strong links were found between happiness and spending time with family, for example, and playing outside was also found to have a positive relationship to happiness.
Therefore, it is important to take time out with children. Creating time for bonding activities such as playing games, engaging in conversation, or involving them in household activities can divert their attention from gadgets.
Children are drawn to mobile games due to the challenges they pose at each level. Redirect their focus by engaging them in activity-based learning. Hands-on projects, science experiments, arts and crafts, and puzzles can be effective tools to keep them occupied while fostering a deeper understanding of various subjects. Encouraging your child to pursue hobbies such as listening to music, learning a new sport, playing an instrument, reading, or painting will also keep them occupied.
Avoid using screen time as a reward or distraction for tasks like studying, doing chores, or during meals. While screens can be a temporary solution to keep kids calm, relying solely on technology can lead to detrimental effects. Help your child identify and manage emotions and encourage alternative activities to address boredom.
I am sure that these parenting tips will be of a great help to you in your parenting journey. If you still have some worries always reach out to our teachers at Oakridge or Student Counsellor who are always available to help you and your child.