In a digitally-driven world, we ask ourselves – how can our children fit into it? According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, screen time is almost non-existent. Up until the age of 2, screen time should not be used at all. From ages 2 to 12, children are recommended only one hour per day. Teens and adults are maxed out at 2 hours per day. Now, is that realistic for your family? Maybe no, maybe yes. However, here are 4 tips to help you reduce the screen time and increase the quality time.
Craft Attainable Goals:
When beginning the screen-cutting process, start off slow. For example, if your 10 year old is currently switching from 4 different devices in a 4 hour period, cut that time in half. Start by limiting screen time to 2 hours per day. You can always work your way down to that golden one hour later on. Pro Tip: You can set technology screen limits on phones, tablets, TVs and gaming devices using passwords and child-protection locks.
Spend Time Outdoors:
Regardless of the season, there will always be activities to do outside. Putting down the phone and going for a neighborhood walk, a bike ride, a beach/ski day can boost your child’s mood – and yours. Research shows that happy hormones like endorphins and dopamine actually increase when humans are outside. And the best part is, there are tons of ways to do outdoor activities together as a family! Check out “50 Outdoor Activities for Families to Get Some Fresh Air” HERE:
Aim to give kids’ your undivided attention in technology-free environments. Having face-to-face time with your child shows that you are committed to taking on the technology challenge together. Encourage them to join after-school activities at school or play with the neighborhood kids at home. Tell them how proud you are of them when they do well on their schoolwork. There are many ways to support your child and this fosters a healthy environment for them.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind:
During screen-free hours, put technology devices away. For example, you can have a designated child-lock drawer for phones and TV remotes. If you want to take it a step further, you can conceal your TV using art decoration, curtains or covers. Get creative in how you want to put less focus into technology and rather, focus into your family.
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