With the pandemic keeping our kids mostly out of school and learning from home, many kids are using computers and tablets now more than ever before. That’s why it’s a good idea to make sure that you reduce your child’s screen time during the rest of the day. While there’s nothing wrong with video games and YouTube now and then, your kids are still kids and they need to be up and moving around, staying active and healthy.
So how can you reduce your child’s screen time without ruining your little one’s fun? Here are a few tips you can use to help give your kids a much-needed break from their screens.
Encourage playing outside after class
It’s all too easy to switch from using a computer for schoolwork to using a computer for video games and socializing online with friends. However, it’s a good idea to encourage your child to get up and go play outside after they’ve spent the day learning online. The reason for this is because a sedentary lifestyle, especially at a young age, can set your child up for health problems later in life. Playing outside after school lets them unwind from the school day and get their body moving.
Have entertaining games around the house
If your child’s tablet is the most entertaining thing they own, it shouldn’t come as a surprise when they get upset that you take it away. The key here is to make sure that their electronics are only a few of the entertaining things that they have. Figure out what kind of activities your child likes. If they’re a fan of puzzle games on their tablet, they might like building blocks or stacking games. If they like color-by-number apps, try a color-by-number book they can draw in. Multi-player games are also a great way to have fun as a family while taking a break from your phone yourself.
Use screen time strategically
A great way to reduce your child’s screen time is by being strategic with the times you allow it. For instance, people spend an average of 87 minutes a day in their cars. There isn’t much for your child to do when sitting buckled in a vehicle, which makes this time ideal for screen time. They can use their tablet while you drive and then they can put it away once you arrive at your destination and there are other options for fun again.
Just be sure if your child is using their screen time unmonitored that you block off the types of apps and websites they can access. There are 1.8 billion websites operating at the same time every day, and your child can accidentally access sites that could be scary or harmful. Family Link is a great app that takes data storage security seriously and lets your child only access approved websites on Google Chrome and other sites.
It can be tricky to reduce your child’s screen time and it’s important to be realistic about your expectations. However, by following the tips above, you can help your child cut back on their screen time just a little so they can have fun outside of TikTok and YouTube.