Years past by and generation after generation is exposed to more and more technology. And it seems that technology has begun to take over the world. But we can’t allow it to take over our lives or our children’s lives.
We helplessly watch as our kids become sucked in by tablets and iPods and all the new things electronics can offer them. But you don’t have to standby defenseless. It’s time to enforce screen time rules!
Now, this is where it gets a little tricky. There are some pretty awesome benefits that come along with technology and electronics. So you don’t want to completely take them away.
Stay right here to read about 9 ways to limit screen time that actually works!
1. Keep Them in Sight
If you’re wanting to establish screen time rules for any electronics, then the first thing you need to do is have them in sight. It’s hard to set rules and enforce them when you’re not there to oversee it. Set up a room or space in your home where all the technology takes place!
You want this space to be somewhere in plain sight. It should be an opened area that has high traffic. It can be in the living room or nook next to the kitchen.
Make this area special and inviting for all the kids. Brighten it up and hang cool artwork. And add super comfy pillows and cushions or beanbags!
If you create a space that they love, then they’ll be happy to spend there technology time in there. And you’ll be happy to keep a close eye on them.
2. Establish Technology-Free Zones
Just as you established a designated technology zone, you need to establish technology-free zones. It’s no shock that tablets and gizmos will still end up leaving the technology area. They’re great for long car rides, for example.
But there are some places in the home where electronics are absolutely not allowed. Each home is ran differently. So these places are up to the parents to decide.
If you’re a family that enjoys dinner at the table, then establish the dinner table as a technology-free zone. This means no electronics at all including cell phones. This ensures that dinner time is family time, as well.
You also might want to consider making bedrooms a part of this list. Children’s rooms are filled with toys and imagination. You can designate their rooms as places for their creativity!
Try starting a bookshelf for them to add books to and pick out at night for reading instead of watching TV.
3. Give Electronics a Designated Curfew
Like your little ones, electronics need a curfew, too. You can put a curfew in effect for all electronic devices. Set the curfew to a schedule that works best for your family.
For example, you might try setting the curfew to 7 PM. After 7 PM, all electronics are shut off and placed in the technology zone. Now your family can focus on dinner, baths, and bedtime.
It also helps create healthy sleeping patterns to not have screen time for an hour or so before bed. It gives the brain a chance to relax.
4. Implement Rules Based on Age
If you have a wide range of ages in your home, then try setting up rules based on age. Your house rules for teenagers might be different than for your toddler. Implement a schedule for each child that makes the most sense for them.
The list of family rules can be printed or written out on paper and placed somewhere where everyone can see. This not only helps them stick to the rules, but it helps you stick to them, as well.
5. Set a Timer
Life gets hectic fast. Between homework, dinner, and all the in-between stuff, it’s easy to lose track of time. And it’s hard to enforce the rules when you’ve forgotten how much time your youngest one has had the tablet.
A great way to avoid this confusion is by setting a timer. Set a timer on or off the device, or both! A lot of devices will have timers set in them even electronics for toddlers.
This works well to limit computer time and TV time. Set the amount of time you want your child to have on the device and then hand it over. When the time is up, the device will turn off.
6. Make Screen Time a Privilege
Screen time shouldn’t be a necessity. It’s a privilege to have. Just like candy or the chance to pick out a toy from the store, screen time should be earned.
You can teach your children that if they want to use electronics in the home, then they need to bring home good letter grades, behave well in the grocery store, and etc. Use the same methods of a rewards system that you’ve already taught them. This will make the transition easy for them.
They’ll already understand what they need to do to earn something.
7. Explain The Dangers To Your Kids
A good way to get your kids onboard with technology rules is to explain to them why you need the rules. Teach them the goods and bads of electronic uses. Let them know that it brings plenty of benefits.
But it becomes harmful when it begins to take from outdoor play, imagination play, and family time. Talking to them about it helps them understand why these rules exist. And they’ll feel more persuaded to follow them.
And don’t hesitate to research some tips for parents on internet safety. Having a better understanding yourself makes explaining easier.
8. Offer Alternatives
Get their minds off of electronics by offering alternatives. It’s one of those out of sight, out of mind ideas. If all the electronics are kept in the technology zone rather than spread around the house, then it’s easier for the kids to forget about them.
Place a shelf filled with board games in an in-sight area. Your kids will walk past in constantly and become tempted to pull one off the shelf and ask the whole family to play. You can also add puzzles to the shelf!
9. Follow Your Own Rules
The best way to get your children to follow your screen time rules is to follow them yourself. If you can’t stick to your own rules, then you can’t expect them to either. Set a good example and they’re soon to follow!
A healthy home is one where everyone is on the same page.
Screen Time Rules In Your Home
Creating and enforcing screen time rules in your home shouldn’t bring you any more stress. Follow these tips and your home is sure to break free from technology overload! And once you’ve found success, you’ll want to make sure the happiness last forever!
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