Although I’m a very techy person myself, I firmly believe that kids should be able to find a balance between technology and real life – it’s important to not be deficient one way or another, especially in today’s world. Also, I think kid’s need to be active! I mean, c’mon – would it to go swimming, ride bikes, go walking, etc.
Alas, I know this is not a reality by any means, and, as parents, we will need to find ways to set screen time limits. Here are a few tips on how to decrease that screen time (as with all parenting, it’s important to be consistent!).
- Track how much time every member spends in front the screen (i.e. watching DVDs, playing videos, uses the computer for something other than school/work, in front of the TV, etc.) so that you can figure out where the change needs to happen.
- Set house rules when the “screens” are off-limits. For example, I think it’s simply good practice to have a no technology rule at the dinner table and to apply it to every member of the family (+ guests).
- Never use the TV or computer as a reward or punishment, because it will make them even more appealing.
- Set a clear time schedule for screen times. If your child has problems sleeping at night, develops attention problems or anxiety, that’s a sure sign that it’s time to reduce screen time.
- Talk about what your children are watching on TV or seeing on the computer and especially how to react to advertisements. As a marketer myself, I know I’ll definitely be having these conversations with my son.
By simply removing a TV or computer from your child’s bedroom, it can reduce their consumption by about 1.5 hours per day. Simple steps. Big changes.
How much time does your child spend in front of a screen per day? And, maybe more importantly, how often do you?