Ways to Balance Too Much Screen Time

Ways to Balance Too Much Screen Time

Parents want the best for their children and part of this goal is making them healthy physically, emotionally, and psychologically. The negative effects of exposure to screens are not automatic consequences when a child starts to use technological devices and been exposed. They only occur if the children become immersed for too long. But the good news is that these negative effects can be avoided by guiding the children to use technological tools or devices responsibly and in moderation. Setting limits on the use of television or on playing video games may appear difficult but, some practices could make this easier. 

Here are some of the practices parents and guardians can do to lessen the screen time of children:
1. Be a role model on using gadgets and other devices
Children learn a lot from their environment just by observing it. They typically imitate those they see around them as the people who surround them in their eyes are role models. This being said, parents, guardians, or more knowledgeable others in the family should be responsible role models in different aspects of life including the healthy use of gadgets and other devices. So, before you binge-watch your favorite drama, or scroll your phone and look at your social media accounts, in your spare minutes or hours, be reminded that there are children who may imitate and model your screen-related behavior.

2. Keep the bedroom free from electronic devices
When children at their bedroom there are more tendency for them to use electronic devices since no one would be watching them. To make up for this, instead of the bedroom, it is advisable to place computers and television in more central locations inside homes so that there would be fewer temptations when the children are about to sleep. Doing so would enable parents and guardians to better monitor the time spent by children in front of screens.

3. Educating yourself about the use of electronic devices
Nowadays, more children are more knowledgeable than parents or guardians when it comes to technology like electronic devices such as gadgets. If parents know how these devices work then they can better regulate the time spent by children and can better explain why they do not allow them to watch some content. 

4. Create a screen time limit and schedule
Another step to regulate the screen time of children is for parents and guardians to limit it through scheduling. Do this by talking with them so that they could understand your goal and that you are not doing this just on a whim. A limit and a schedule are good ways to regulate screen time as it establishes a “habit” through the rules associated with it. Limiting their use and scheduling when to use gadgets and other devices establishes electronic use as a privileged ,and same with other privileges it should be used responsibly. 

5. Encourage children to do some physical activities
When parents include a time limit and schedule in regulating the children’s time in front of electronic devices, they should also encourage them to do physical activities more. These physical activities serve as an alternative so that the children while off the screen would not be bored. After all, physical activities are also fun and provide a lot of benefits to kids. 

6. Make rules
Making rules about screen time could be compounded by time limits and scheduling to ensure that children will spend less time in front of screens. Examples of these rules are prohibiting phone use while eating, not allowing any device use until the assignments and chores are done, turning phones and other devices off at a designated time, etc. 

7. Be strong and consistent
Along the way, there are bound to have some conflicts in the implementation of the rules with regards to screen time. As parents or guardians, you need to stand your ground. Be calm and reiterate and explain to your child the goal and reason for such rules and regulations.

​Knowing the harmful effects of too much screen time is a piece of essential knowledge in keeping children healthy in an age of modernity. While letting children take part in discovering vital skills related to technology, it would not hurt to teach them ways of how to use it more responsibly with regards to time. By teaching children to be more responsible with the time they spend on electronic devices, parents and guardians are also teaching them the value of real-life skills, physical activities, and human relationships.

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