Do you feel like your kids spend too much time on their screens and not enough time doing things that are healthy for them? Here are some ideas you can use to limit screen time and encourage them to spend their time elsewhere.
Encourage a Hobby Outside the Screens
If your kids say that they don’t really enjoy doing anything but playing games and using their devices, then look for hobbies they can do that don’t involve screens. Get them to try new things like drawing, playing music, playing sports, reading books, building crafts, or whatever else comes to mind. However, be careful about trying to force your hobbies on them or trying to get them to do what you like in those hobbies. For example, they might not like the same books or sports as you.
Give Them Chores
Kids that are bored will naturally want to spend time on a screen to deal with the boredom. If they are busy and engaged, They don’t think about the screens as much. When you give your kids chores to do around the house and yard, you will give them less time to spend on screens and will be engaging their minds and bodies in the world around them. They may not love this idea, but it can build character and help them develop skills they will need for later. You might not want to give them some kinds of chores, though. You may prefer to do some yourself or have a service for cleaning to handle some of the tougher tasks. You can find age-appropriate chores for them, though, that will help to develop their minds and organization skills.
Spend Time with Them
It’s easy to let the screens babysit your kids for you, but if you want to change how much time they spend on screens, you may have to take the time to spend with them. You can go on outings, cook food together, build a craft together, discuss their day, play board games, have contests with each other and anything else you can think of. Kids value the time they spend with their parents, and if you are present with them and paying attention to them as you spend time with your kids, you will develop a closer bond and give them something to do outside of electronic devices.
Set Parental Limits
For more direct action, you can simply set limits on their screen time on their devices or in their apps. Many phones, tablets, consoles, and computers allow for time restrictions, and a lot of apps allow limits to be set as well. This is a good solution for parents who may have to leave the kids alone with the devices for long periods of time.
If you want good results as you try to limit your kids’ screen time, be sure to talk to them about what you are doing. Let them know the dangers of excessive screen time, especially on their young minds. Also talk to them about the benefits of spending their time doing other activities.