So kids huh? So filled with life, love, laughter, it can be hard to keep up. Need a break? Hand them an iPad and you’ll be in complete serenity. Take the iPad away, well…all hell breaks loose!
So, you decided to give them the iPad and now you’re kind of regretting it? You feel like they’re “always staring at the screen” but what can you do? They’ve grown more attached to this damn screen then you were to your childhood celebrity dreamboat!
You’re probably wondering why this is so and how can you fix this? Well for starters, baby steps. Take it slowly by limiting their screen time each day just by a small amount. If all else fails well, at least they’re quiet, right? No. Keep on trying. The main problem may be because you would want your children to spend more time outdoors and have a break from the device and not strain their eyes. We know that as a fact that technology does help us learn and be interactive. But we know that a break here and there is needed.
The majority of people would agree that our society spends way too much time with our heads face down, glued to the screen.
Yet despite this knowledge, very few are incapable of edging away from this habit and rightfully claim back their own life. Even fewer, I may add, know how to help their children with the exact same issue.
To guide you through some strategies to help your little ones navigate through this technology-obsessed world we live in, here are some tips to help YOU limit your screen time for your children.
Set an example for your kids
I understand this is really difficult on your behalf and you’ll definitely have to compromise and make some sacrifices, but isn’t that what having kids is about? See now, it’s easy to tell them the disadvantages and all the health risks but honestly, at that age, nothing has long-term consequences. It’s the act of monkey see, monkey do. Children subconsciously gravitate towards the actions and behaviors of their parents or adults around them. They see you eating a certain food, they’ll want to eat the exact same thing. They see you reading, they’ll want to read. It’s human nature. Use this to your advantage and break the habit.
Spend time with your kids
Play with them. Get the toy trucks, the puzzles, even that god annoying plush toy that sings into your nightmares. It all starts with that love and attention and then you’re on your way to even building a stronger bond with your kids.
Encourage other activities
Offer them maybe a board game to play, a picture book to read with you or even go outside and run around with them. Give your children options so they know there’s a world of fun outside of the screen.
Limit their screen times
Now this is the most obvious one, but probably the most effective. If you want your children to stop watching so much television or spending too much time on their gadgets, limit their screen time. Slowly at once because you surely don’t want to anger them and then later increase the limitations. It’s not good to completely cut out media altogether because then they’d be completely unaware of pop culture which is a key element in developing a sense of identity. Start off with one show in the morning then one after school. Try to prevent watching any shows right before bed to prevent any extra excitation.
Be an involved parent
Ask your kid how their day was. Talk to them about the things they learned at school. Even talk to them about you and what’s been going on in your life. Be more involved with their lives. For many parents, it’s easy to just turn on the television or hand over an iPad after a long day at work but it’s really important you put in the time and effort in order to make an impact in your kid’s life. So just listen, talk and ask them about how they’re doing and what interests them. Your children will begin to take further interest in not only you but other things that are happening around the world. Open and expand their little minds past the damn screen.
Limiting your child’s screen time may be incredibly challenging at first. It may also (most definitely) test your relationships but it’ll be worth it in the end. You’ll develop stronger, deeper bonds with your kids that will last a lifetime. It’s good to start early because once they hit their angsty teen stage it’s like fighting fire with fire. It doesn’t work. Also, make sure that they are keeping their distance between their eyes and the screen!