As children’s daily screen time increase, there are social,cognitive, emotional, physical, and vision problems that they face immediately and potentially in the future. Therefore, it is important to learn ways to reduce children’s screen time.
When children are watching television, sit down with them and watch the programs they are watching. Then ask questions and help them understand the message and relate it to the activities they are involved in their life. It will help their discovery process. You have to decide which programs children should watch and then turn off the television when the programs are over. Do not leave it on to hear the background noise. If you need to hear something in the background, turn on the radio. Also, do not allow children to watch television during meal time and during homework. It is a distraction to having a quality meal with the family and doing quality work. Also, do not allow children to eat while watching television. This will lead to overeating and in the long run, it would lead to obesity. If children have any television in their bedroom, it should be removed immediately because bedroom is a place for relaxation and sleep.
When children are little, start setting the boundaries. It is easier to instill habits when children are younger than when they are older. When children start watching television or using other electronic devices, start with an end-point in mind. Once the end –point has reached, put their devices away. Also, children need help with balancing their day. Help them schedule activities and stick to them throughout the day. Children do not have the necessary self-discipline to draw lines and get work done on schedule until into their early twenties. Also, be a role model and show them that keeping screen time to a minimum is healthy a way of life. Also, you have to determine if your child is simply spending too much time at screen or if he has an addiction. If it is an addiction, immediately seek professional help. Also, stress the importance of completing homework before screen time every day.
Enforcing Healthy Media Use Edit
When selecting which programs children should watch, go for the quality of the program and age appropriateness. It is important for children’s developing mind to encounter age appropriate materials with good quality. It is also important to limit multitasking in every aspect. When multi-tasking on electronic devices such as watching television, sending messages to friends, and using social media, total screen time adds up to a larger number. On the other hand, when children ask for screen time that may not be age appropriate or lack the quality, offer them alternative screen time that meets quality and age appropriateness requirements.
Alternative Activities Edit
In order to reduce screen time, suggest them alternative activities such as family board games, puzzles, going to the park, or taking a walk with the family. Bonding with loved ones is important to children’s development process. Also, challenge going without media for 1 week for the entire family. Such activities will keep it fun and exciting. Meanwhile, you can get them involved in activities that require physical movements such as hiking, going for a walk, or going to the park.
Engage with Children Edit
If you find out children depend too much on electronic devices, have a heart to heart conversation. However, do not take away their electronic devices, because it is not easy for an addicted person to survive without devices and may lead to other emotional problems and resenting. Get them professional help if it is out of control.
- ↑ "Screen Time and Children: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia."U.S NationalLibrary of Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 10 May 2013. Web.25 Nov. 2014. <http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/patientinstructions/000355.htm>."
- ↑ Knorr, Caroline. "3 Simple Rules for a Healthy Media Diet."Reviews &Age Ratings. 29 Dec. 2012. Web. 25 Nov. 2014.<https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/3-simple-rules-for-a-healthy-media-diet>.
- ↑ Knorr, Caroline. "How to Set Screen Rules That Stick."Reviews & AgeRatings. 17 Sept. 2012. Web. 25 Nov. 2014.<https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/how-to-set-screen-rules-that-stick>.
- ↑ Knorr, Caroline. "Setting Computer Limits Tips." Reviews & Age Ratings. 19 Nov. 2010. Web. 25 Nov. 2014. <https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/setting-computer-limits-tips>.