Screen Time Concerns-Tips to Limit
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Today’s digital world is enforcing too much use of smart devices where screen time is a great concern. While kids are busy occupied and obsessed with usage of more screen time via mobiles, tablets, video games and TV, it is the Parent’s responsibility to decide on how much screen time is reasonable for their kids.
Here are a few tips:
a) Parents need to set themselves are role models:
Parents should lead the way and limit their screen usage so that their kids can replicate. Setting and example via leading to take up the task, often helps your kids to limit their screen time.
b) Educate Kids on the risks involved:
No doubt that the new age kids are more tech savvy than their parents. Kids have limited knowledge on the threats, risks of social media unless Parents understand themselves and hence need to stay abreast of the advances in technology, from time-to-time. The various forms of media need to be disseminated and properly understood so that Parents can aid their children to redirect on the correct usage of the digital devices and thus keep monitoring their screen time.
c) Create Digital Free Zones:
Kitchen, dining rooms could be designated as zones with no usage on electronic devices so that there is always a human interaction happening thus paving the way for stronger relationships between Parents and Kids. Parents could extend the same based on requisite.
d) Unplug Electronic Usage:
Popularly dinner time and bedtimes are the two common and classic examples where the entire family can unplug their digital devices. This also gives each member of the family to productively spend time with each other.
e) Parents can make use of Parental Controls:
All electronic/digital devices come with specific controls which can avoid the access to restrict the usage/view of explicit content on the TV or the internet. Parents ought to know these so that proper measures can be taken with their children to put these controls in place, thus blocking unwanted/harsh content. Creating content filters to block certain websites, specific searches or even keywords is also possible.
f) Talk to your child:
It is always important to communicate with your child in explaining to limit the screen time with the reasons involved. By hearing from you as a responsible Parent, kids usually will see the downsides and listen to you. Just in case, if children resist, Parents need more patience and gradually assist kids to do away with the obsessive screen time habits. The harmful effects might need to be enlightened along with walking into the trap of internet hazards. Ensuring that all the members of the family are a part of the discussion, sets the tone and discipline.
g) Gain Access to your Child’s Online Accounts:
Always take your children into confidence by openly speaking with them citing the maturity that is required to handle online aspects and hence kids are being more vulnerable to hacking and cyber threats. Hence, it is a good idea to let Parents know about their online account passwords, so as not to be vulnerable. Prevention is better than Cure, as the popular saying goes! Encourage providing a good amount of privacy and autonomy to children while simultaneously guiding appropriately.
h) Encourage Physical Activities:
Encouraging physical activities that do not require the usage of screen time, but with utmost caution and care, like reading a book, playing in the balcony, board games etc might be a useful choice. Infact, making daily routines to cater to these physical activities will delineate and help kids to limit themselves from obsessive screen time.
i) Parents should aim to make screen time optional:
Instead of a right, Parents should aim to make screen time based upon need and requisite, thus only optional. This sets the discipline and limits the usage of screen time.
j) Monitoring Screen Time:
While it’s a tedious task to do so, avoid screen time in the kitchen and bedroom, for sure. All handheld digital devices that could restrict children to go to sleep must always be avoided.
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