Confession time: This is a quick and dirty answer.
Because there's a looootttt that goes into this topic, but sometimes mama just needs a quick solution that you can implement today, amiright?
So this, is that.
A good tip for limiting screen time at home is to have a plan. I made that plan for you and it's right below this pretty pin.
Psst! Pin this!
A Plan For Limiting Screen Time At Home
1. Find out what your child looovvveeesss to do
Video game addiction specialists explain that kids who get addicted to gaming do so because gaming becomes not only their go-to activity, but also their only source of joy.
So your and my job as parents is to make sure that our kids find joy in multiple, differing ways.
Ask your child to come up with at least three — in this case, more is better — things that they love to do. Let's say gaming, hoola hooping, reading, and cooking.
Tip: Push your child to come up with as many ideas as possible and find a way to keep track of these. Some families make collages or Pinterest boards. I'm a list girl and have a clipboard with sheets where each of my kids' lists live.
Free resource for you: The Ultimate List Of Activities For Kids Online And Off
2. Teach your child the impact of technology on their bodies
I promise that you do NOT need a medical degree to do this! Just think of how using screens impacts you.
For example, I know that after I've been working (online) for awhile, my shoulders, eyes, and back start to ache. Sometimes my head does as well. And sometimes, I get a 'lil slower-than-usual to get things done and crabby when someone or something interrupts.
These are all my bodies' cues that it's time for me to take a break from my own screen use.
Tip: Your child feels these exact same cues; they just need to learn to recognize them. That's where you and I come in!
Free resource for you: The Effects Of Screen Time On Brain And Eye Development
3. Help your child practice moving from activity to differing activity when they feel these impacts
Use the list they created in step 1 and the info in step 2 to do this. And while you'll play a bigger role in these activity switches at first, this will eventually become their habit.
So hang in there and don't give up! This is definitely a "rinse and repeat" process at first.
Because in reality, if a timer is telling them when to turn off their screens or their Internet turns off at random-to-them times, they'll never learn how to limit their screen time themselves.
And they will — gulp — become that kid in high school or college who can.not.be.pried.away.from.their.screen.
Tip: This plan is how to avoid that and to instead, teach your child how to have a healthy relationship with technology.
Free resource for you: How To Stop Being The iPad Police Once And For All
At the beginning of this article I told you that this is the quick-and-dirty answer to this very (very) common question.
All of the linked articles above and below are more extensive explanations of how and why to make this all "stick." I hope that you find them helpful!
The concept of creating a healthy relationship with technology was born of my bestselling book Kindness Wins, a simple guide to teaching your child to be kind online. Because a world filled with tweens who use the Internet even just a 'lil more kindly? Is a better one, as far as I'm concerned.
Free Resources For You:
Read the first chapter of Kindness Wins for free by clicking right here or on the button below.
AUTHOR: GALIT BREEN
Hi, I'm Galit. (*My name is pronounced guh-leet + means little waves, like in the ocean.) I give you the tools you need to let your kids benefit from the amazing things the online world has to offer them and create a popsicle dripping, chapter book reading (in one sitting!), leaf crunching childhood that they deserve. Welcome, I'm so glad you're here. What can you expect from me? I spill it all right here.