Tips on managing your kids screen time

Would you like your kids to have a little less ‘screen time’?  Here are some handy hints on how to implement just that.

After the long holiday break it can be hard to get your little ones back into the routine of school.
They may have spent a little more time than usual on their tablets, games consoles, phones or watching TV. If you would like them to have a little less ‘screen time’ then here are some handy hints on how to implement just that. It is always a good idea to sit down with your kids and go through the new ‘family rules’ with them so that they understand them and are on board.
If you have smaller children, setting these guidelines early in life can make it easier... for the future. Dealing with teenagers can be a little more difficult. Try to involve them in setting the guidelines, perhaps by having a family discussion on what you would like to implement and explaining your reasons for it to try to get them on board.
Families will vary with what they consider an appropriate amount of screen time however it is important to set some limits and consider different lengths for different ages. There are always special occasions though!
  • Use screen time as a privilege and not a part of a daily routine. Getting your children out of the routine of always going for a screen as a first choice can be difficult but after a couple of days can be mastered.
  • Choose times of the day that your home is technology free: The morning times, during meals and maybe one evening a week could be a good starting point. Encourage conversation during mealtimes or organise something fun for the family on the evening. 
  • Try to get them to see screen time as a choice. They can play outside (weather permitting), read a book, colour or draw, play lego, talk to each other, play a board game as well as screen time. If your family is busy with sports and other activities, they will be less likely to rely on technology.
  • The limiting or avoidance of screen time when friends are over or other visitors are in the house will encourage children of all ages to be more sociable as it will give them an opportunity to interact with adults or play with other kids.
  • Practice what you preach! remember that your children will watch everything that you do. So be mindful of constantly checking your phone or having the television on in the background. 

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