Fostering Good Screen Time Habits for Kids

In this digital era, the use of computers, smartphones, tablets and other devices is already an integral part of our daily lives.  We use these gadgets not just for leisure and communication but also for work or business. For adults whose jobs entail having to stare at their screen the entire shift, screen time is absolutely unavoidable. The good thing is that there are many ways to negate the effects of screen time for us parents. We can opt to use computer glasses that are specially-designed glasses that have been innovated to minimize digital eye strain by reducing glare, increasing the contrast on the screen and filtering out the harsh blue light spectrum from the display. Or we can go for lasik eye treatment.

However,  being exposed to gadgets is an entirely different issue when it comes to our kids. As parents, we always want to make sure that they are protected from the negative effects of too much engagement with digital devices. We all know that there are various hazards that staring at digital screens entail that we don’t want our kids to be affected.

There are several ways to foster good screen time habits  to protect our little ones from these hazards. These steps may be simple but they sure work wonders in making sure that our kids are spared from the negative effects of too much exposure to gadgets.

1. Be a good role model.

Let’s get to the bottom of this real quick: we can never foster good screen time habits to our kids if we don’t start within ourselves. Don’t expect that kids will be able to limit their screen time of they always see us whipping out our smartphones.

2. Lay down the rationale of limiting screen time.

In a manner that would be appropriate and comprehensible to our kids, we need to explain where the need to limit screen time is coming from. Explain to them the negative implications of too much usage of gadgets, and get them to agree.

3. Set clear guidelines on the use of gadgets.

As soon as you’re on the same page with regards to the reason why you need to cut off screen time, lay out the guidelines to your kids. Make sure that he knows what is considered as screen time and what the maximum duration of allowable exposure is.

4. Encourage involvement with other activities.

Help your kids adhere to the set guidelines by keeping them busy with more productive activities. Get on the floor and play with them. Bring them outdoors and go biking or running or whatever activity that will divert their attention from the screens.

5. Turn off screens during mealtimes.

Make use of mealtimes to bond with each other and have a  conversation. This also applies to family times such as weekends or holiday gatherings.

6. Cut off your cable service completely and confiscate gadgets.

This applies to situations in which a more stern measure is needed.

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