Raising kids is one of the most challenging things you’ll ever do. A 2016 Chatelaine survey of 1,000 women between 35 and 45 years of age revealed that screen time is the no.1 cause for mom guilt. As an urban 21st century mom, I can’t agree more.
It’s so easy to hand over parental duties to my iPad when I want to spend some quality time alone with my husband, or leave the TV on when I want to go full blast with my home workout. Truth is, I let slip on my screen time for the kids way more than I should, and it’s time to put some rules in place. Because I’m scared that when they grow up, they’ll turn to Google for answers; not me.
Make your kids earn their screen time
Kids these days have it so easy. They’re just handed things that I previously have had to work for. Now, parents hand their kids a smartphone at 7 years old so that they can “communicate with them at all times.”
Make sure your kids work to earn their screen time. Have them do simple things like feed the cat or water the indoor plants. If they carry out their tasks consistently, they can have their screen time. Implement this “earn and use” system with your kids. It will teach them valuable life lessons and that good behaviour will be rewarded.
Set the parameters
Impose a daily time limit that dictates when and how long your kids can have their screen time. You can allow some wiggle room, but not too much. You should also decide which parts of the house should be no-screen zones, i.e: dining room and bedroom. Should they only be allowed screen time in your supervised presence?
It’s good practice to power down at least an hour before they go to bed. Studies have shown that blue light emitted from screens can delay the release of sleep-inducing melatonin, increasing alertness and resetting the body’s circadian rhythm to a later schedule.
Show them who’s boss
That’s right, you are! Let them know that there will be consequences if they don’t comply. Make sure that your kids know exactly what’ll happen if they broke those rules. Get creative with your punishments: reduce their screen time, make them do more work to earn the same amount of screen time, or confisticate the items altogether.
Optimise their screen time
Make screen time more productive for your kids. Rather than mindless video games, engage them in educational content or nurture their inherent talents. You won’t have to feel too guilty the next time you give them extra wiggle room!Interested in learning more? Read https://abbottnutrition.com.my/child-development/screen-child-best-friend.