Blog : Steps to manage your kids screen time

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Do your kids sit glued to TV, computers, laptops. Are you worried about the screen time they are spending on gadgets? Well!  You are not alone. People across the world are bothered by their bad effects on children’s physical and mental health.

Due to the invention of the advanced technologies in gadgets, video games, cartoons, kids are spending most of their time on watching TV and playing computer games. Nowadays these are common activities for kids, but kids who spend long periods of time inactive are more likely to have poor physical, social and intellectual development.

Current National guidelines suggest that children aged two to five years should have no more than an hour of sedentary screen time a day. And children aged five-18 years should have no more than two hours. Children under two years of age ideally should avoid the screen altogether.

Remember our childhood days where there was only one option TV and we had the chance to view only on weekends. We were engaged in outdoor games, puzzles, riddles, carrom boards, ludo, chess and much more fun activities. But nowadays these mobiles, laptops and tablets have distracted the children from the outdoor plays. It’s true that somewhere they have been a boon in our life but they are harmful for the little ones health too. These gadgets emit harmful radiations and are not good for children’s eyesight.

There were days when my kids were too addicted to screens, but with some little efforts and small ways I have controlled the situation. However they still watch their favorite cartoons but for limited time. They play games on computers but only in vacations or weekends and that too with restrictions during exam days. Overall I am satisfied that my kids are not addictive and this doesn’t bother me much now.

So here are some effective ways to reduce your kid ‘s screen time:

Engage your kids in physical activities

Let your kids play outdoor enjoying a bicycle, playing football, badminton, cricket etc. But this needs effort from your side too. Take your time out to join your kids in these activities. Accompany them to the nearby park and play with them. These activities will benefit you, as you too need some exercises, right!

Set an example
Kids learn by observing their parents. If we, parents are busy on our laptops and mobiles how can we stop them to do so? Keep your mobiles aside whenever they are around you. Talk to them about their school, friends, hobbies. You can also engage them in indoor board games, but you too have to be with them. Spend some time with them by reading books or narrating bedtime stories. This will strengthen the bond between you and your kids.

Hobbies
Find out in which activity your child takes an interest. It can be, painting, dancing, swimming, sports, etc. Arrange some hobby classes for them so that they can get busy and productive.

Art and creativity
Keep your kids busy at home by developing their interest in art and crafts. Let them be creative. Buy them some colouring books, crayons, water colours, diy kits and join them as much as possible. It will be fun for you too.

Talk to them
Talk with your children about the disadvantages of watching TV  for long hours. Don’t force them to stop at once. Make them understand the consequences of being glued to the mobiles and laptops all the time, but in a polite manner. Have an honest conversation with your children about limitation of screen time.

Screen free mealtimes
Have some family time together with the kids by accompanying them during meals. Keep televisions off. Discuss about what’s going in their day to day life. This will distract them from watching TV and they will enjoy the time spent with you.

Set rules
Make sure you make some clear rules about screen time. The rules can be different for weekends and weekdays, but should not be for more than an hour.

Hopefully these steps will help you go longer in reducing the screen time for children and encourage them to take break from the virtual world and explore the one that is outside.