Advice Column, Child

Limiting Screen Time: Teaching Your Kids Healthy Habits

  • George Newton
  • Category Advice Column, Child

In a technology filled world, it’s easy to get carried away, and spend endless hours online. For youth, and especially young children, too much screen time negatively impacts them. Both development and life skills can be tampered with if kids have too much exposure to technology. Your relationship with your kids can also be at stake as well. To prevent these negative impacts from occurring, limiting overall screen time is a healthy habit you can teach your kids early on.

Establishing Screen Time Duration:

The first thing step when limiting your child’s screen time is setting a duration of time that they are allowed online. Talk with them, and ask what time of the day they would prefer for their screen time. As long as you both decide on a convenient and reasonable time, everything should work smoothly. To ensure your child doesn’t abuse their use of technology, install a screen time app. Screen time apps put a time limit on your child’s device so they can’t use it when they aren’t supposed to. When your child is older, you can extend their screen time when neccesary. Teaching your kid(s) young to watch how much time they spend online is a valuable lesson. “They will understand the importance of spending more time away from technology, which is a healthy habit to build. Unfortunately, even if you limit your child’s screen time, the online world is full of many threats,” says Christi T. McDavid, an educator at 1 Day 2 Write and Write My X. This is why you must monitor your child’s device until a certain age in order to protect them.

Protecting Your Child

No matter if you chose the apps and sites your child can visit online, scary things exist all over the internet. For example, predators often play child friendly games in hopes of finding a target. That’s why you should check all your kid’s apps each time after they use their device. Make sure there are no creepy messages or interactions on any of the apps installed. It doesn’t stop at apps though. Go to your child’s search history to see what they are searching. If there is anything non child friendly in their search history, talk with them about it. Inform them of what they are not allowed to look up. You can also put the safe search setting on your child’s web browser as well for maximum safety. If you find anything harmful on your kids device, then use it as an opportunity to teach them about safe internet use. After covering screen time and the potential dangers of the internet, pushing your child to find a hobby away from their device is important.

Promoting Hobbies

Don’t let your kid become sucked into the online world like many children are today. Introduce them to new activities on a regular basis to help them find a hobby. Enroll them into sports, clubs, and take them to new places. When your child finds their interest, then support them no matter what their hobby is. Your kid may love art, enjoy soccer, or want to be part of their school’s play. Continue to be by their side while they embrace what they love. Hobbies allow people to focus on something other than the internet. So put the effort in in order for your child to find an established hobby. A huge issue found in the current generation of kids today is neglect. “Many parents leave their children alone on their devices instead of spending more quality family time with them. Don’t neglect your kids, because family time is highly important, and helps prevent extra time online,” explains Stella C. Monk, a writer at Britstudent and Originwritings.

Family Time

Want to prevent your kid(s) from turning into an online zombie? Then don’t forget to spend some quality time with them! Building a healthy relationship with your kids is crucial. Take them to the park, treat them with their favourite candy every once in a while, or come watch their sports game. Show your kids the value of building strong relationships with their loved ones. This will decrease their online time, and help improve your child’s people skills. It’s recommended to spend around an hour of time with your kids a day. Don’t spend too much or too little time with your kids, and make up for missed time when you are available. Family time will not only strengthen your family bond, but it will also support your child’s healthy relationships with screen time.

Your Child’s Habits

Hoping that you passed on these methods to your child, they will likely know how to manage their own screen time when they are older. These management skills will be useful for your child later in their life. As long as you are responsible with your child, you should be able to help them have a healthy relationship with screen time. 

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