Limiting Kids’ Screen Time

Whenever I meet fellow moms, one constant topic of discussion is how their kids are glued to the tablets, smart phones and other gadgets. Some moms are alarmed, some of them have accepted this fact, some of them are proud about it and some of them have extreme views regarding it. Not only in this generation, even in my mom’s generation, “Kids’ Screen Time” was the hot topic albeit that time as kids, we used to be stuck to the television.

As a parent of 2 kids obviously “Limiting Kids’ Screen Time” has been my struggle too. What are my views about it, what I am doing and how my kids are taking it…Read on.

How much is Too much?

I am not that parent who doesn’t mind free usage of gadgets for kids. Let kids watch TV for unlimited time, let them play games on gaming devices the way they want, free use of laptops and tablets – a BIG NO at our homes.

Again, I am not the one who is for completely “Gadget FREE childhood”. I love technology and being an IT professional, I myself thrive on it daily.

Technology is a way of life and we cannot deny its importance. We need to use gadgets and screens to keep updated with the happenings, to know the latest trends and to keep abreast of the world.

For my hubby and me, we love to strike the balance as much as we can. When it comes to Kids’ Screen Time, we definitely allow them to use their iPad, tablet, smart phone in limited doses. The moment, we feel that the liking for screen time is turning into an addiction, we pull the strings!

Frankly speaking, there are so many views and statistics circulating about the duration of kids’ screen time that even parents can get confused about how many minutes or hours should be the gadget time for kids. I suggest go by your own instinct as a parent. For us, 30 mins to 1 hour works well. After 1 hour, kids start getting more and more possessive about the gadget and refuse to let it go. Cranky behavior crops up and things become difficult to handle. So, we take the gadgets away from them after the stipulated time – a bit here and there we always allow.

Tips and Tricks to limit Kids’ Screen Time

Let me share with you some tips and tricks based on my own experience. Do let me know what you are doing to limit screen time for your kids.

1. Outdoor Play

This is number 1 on my list because I have seen that when my kids are outdoors, they just don’t remember gadgets at all. They get engrossed in playing, running, jumping and getting to know the surroundings.

Whether it’s playground or beach or even a trip to a grocery store is enough for them to ditch the gadgets.

So, do plan activities that take your family outdoors. Every day we cannot go for vacations and all due to busy routines but just letting the kids play in the playground does the trick. Real play is so much better than virtual play! Don’t you agree? Get some fabulous ideas about mini adventures that you can do with your kids here.

2. Go screen-free when you are with kids

Another point that I am working on is to keep away my own smartphone / tablet when with kids. This is NOT easy you know. We all keep looking at our own screens even when kids are around. When the kids are playing with their toys, we are on our screens – be it for office reasons or for reading news etc.

Actually, not okay at all! Do you remember times when kids call us and we answer them without any eye contact? Why? Simply because we are glued to our gadgets. This behavior of ours gives leeway to kids also. They assume that it’s okay to be on the gadgets, it’s okay to not look into eyes while talking.

Now a days, I make deliberate attempts and keep phone away and keep reminding myself to watch my screen time.

3. Go Creative when using Gadgets

Screen time can be a great resource of information if used wisely. Mindless gaming or watching meaningless videos just for the sake of it doesn’t serve any purpose.

What I do is to add a zing of creativity when it comes to their screen time.

Kids' Screen Time, Friso, RainbowDiaries.com

Example: During their screen time, kids use iPad as a reference to draw something.

Result: They are not watching it senselessly but putting it to use and coming up with something unique.

Example: Kids ask a tricky question – like “How they used to make a mummy?”. I decide to google and show them a simple kids friendly video explaining the process of making mummies that Egyptians used to follow.

Result: Screen time – yes, Acquiring new knowledge – yes, yes, yes!

4. Cut if OFF completely on temporary basis

Like I mentioned before, hubby and me would always try to strike a balance. But sometimes, strict measures are needed to limit kids’ screen time. Especially, when kids show kind of “addiction” towards gadgets. Have you noticed them display –

  • Irritation when they are away from gadgets
  • Poor Sleeping habits
  • Lost in the virtual world
  • Lack of focus on school work
  • Constant Boredom

Then it’s time to go gadget free for some period for sure. Strong medicine like hiding the gadgets, stopping the wi-fi, locking the gadgets with new passwords etc. is needed. We have done it once and it worked wonderfully.

Do note that we cut it off for a temporary period not permanently.

5. Old is still Gold

Remember our childhood? What we used to do? Did we have smartphones or tabs that time? No! Then how we spent our time? Weren’t we happy still? Ask these questions to yourself and you already know some answers when it comes to limiting Kids’ screen time.

Outdoor play I already mentioned above. Some other things have always worked for us are:

Free Play – Just put a few toys around them and they don’t need anything. Their imagination takes a front seat and pretend play starts. For older kids, DIY activities work the best.

Kids' Screen Time, Friso, RainbowDiaries.com

Family Time – Leave everything aside and just chit chat with them. The topic can be anything on earth – which toy is the latest in the market to who is your favorite teacher to where to go for this vacation to sharing fun incidents of your childhood. You don’t have to plan anything, no strategy needed. It’s a simple thing that adds gadget-free fun to our lives.

Indoor Games and activities – Board games like carrom, UNO we love. The friendly competitions that we have are moments to cherish. Siblings bond among them and with their parents too.

Fun Science experiments, cooking with kids are some other activities that we indulge in.

Social events – Going out to visit friends, attending festive events, friends birthday parties and other community functions make kids more open towards different people and different perspectives.

Books are always the best friends – This still holds true. Give them books and kids are on their own – reading, exploring the world of books.

You read my approach to limit kids’ screen time. Let me know some expert tips of yours too.

This blog post is in collaboration with Friso.

To know more about Friso nutrition, connect with Friso on their websiteFacebook and Instagram!

#frisosg #frisostronginside #frisoexperience

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This blog post is in collaboration with Friso.

To know more about Friso nutrition, connect with Friso on their websiteFacebook and Instagram!

#frisosg #frisostronginside #frisoexperience

 

 

 

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31 comments on “Limiting Kids’ Screen Time”

  1. Emily Reply

    Even though I am not a parent, I understand how frustrating it can be for parents to limit screen time when the internet is so useful in our daily life. Yet, have seen how scary it is when kids get addicted to gadgets!

  2. nicoleflintkontrol Reply

    Limiting screen time is so important! I’m so happy my parents implemented this as I was growing up when the rise of cellphones and other gadgets were coming up! Now as an adult, if I’m with my mother I try not to be on my phone as much because it’s kind of rude when you’re spending one on one time with someone and you’re always on your device. It’s important to get out and get active or read a book to break up screen time!

  3. thenafranssen Reply

    Limiting screen time is so important. They get addicted, as we all do right? I find it harder on the weekends and especially when they are wanting to play a learning game of sorts.

  4. Beola Lawal Reply

    Screen time has really help my kids a lot when it comes to learning, it helped develop their vocabularies as well. But just like the saying goes, too much of anything is not good. Before watching I let them explore their toys for a while, I also make my oldest read a book with me, sometimes we work on him learning to write. After all these, I let him watch until I feel he has had enough. Screen time did save me a lot with my 2 years old though, he is a very active kid and always keeping me at my toes, he hardly get tired, even after outdoor play, so I do let him watch a bit longer than my oldest son. All in all, I think its all about being moderate with it.

  5. Ana Ojha Reply

    I don’t have kids but all these tips sound amazing for mommies! I totally agree with you that kids should have a limited screen time!

  6. Paige Reply

    I love your thoughts on this! Screen time definitely has its time in place, but I feel like we need to do temporary bands on it sometimes too!

  7. Claire (@clairebeary94) Reply

    I love this post! Even though I don’t have kids, I love how you are embracing technology but at the same time letting them into outdoor activities and other fun stuff other than phones and tablets.

  8. Erica (@Erica's Recipes) Reply

    Oyyy vey this struggle is so real. I have a 7yo son, and he loves his video games. So we limit the time he plays, unless he is playing with other kids in the neighborhood, like on the weekends. Then we tend to be more lenient because at least it is social, they have to share and take turns, etc.

  9. Tizzy Says Reply

    Balancing time between gadgets and spending time away from them is hard for many of us because we are much busier than we used to be when we were growing up. Most of us grew up in a time where only one parent needed to work while the other spent time with us. Now, cost of living is ridiculously high so both parents work or single parents are working two jobs and the gadgets become baby sitters. I try my best to do things with my daughter to break up her time spent on her chromebook, but it is something assigned to her by the school, so she seems to be on it all of the time because of the overload of homework she has now.

  10. Helene Reply

    I noticed kids don’t know to play anymore these days. This is mostly evident here around in Goa, kids go to school at age 3 and they don’t go to kindergarten so they never learn to play. As you said it a healthy mix of new and old is the best.

  11. Frank Reply

    I’m not a father yet but i think this is good and the kids being creative i think its the most important thing to look at and highlight as a parent!

  12. Preet Reply

    Great tips. I do believe in limiting screen time for kids, it is only during the time when I have something important that I need to give attention to, mostly work related that I have my kids watch TV shows, which is likely once or twice a week for an hour or two. Otherwise I try and spend as much time with them and keep them occupied with games and puzzles, I do have multiple which I give them on turn by turn bases so that they do not get bored of the same games and puzzles, it helps a lot. And when they are with their grandparents, they just forget about the TV even. I do not have any ipad or any device for my kids yet, it is just TV.

  13. Nathan Nat Reply

    Yes it is good to reduce the screen time. I personally feel that back in the day things were far better. People were not glued to their phones and used to go out and play outdoor sports and enjoy the sun !!! Nowadays kids are so addicted to technology. Recently, I had gone to a party and I saw one of the kids who was just 3 walk up to the TV and was trying to hit the play button on the screen. The kid assumed the Tv was a touch screen !!!

  14. Brittany DiCologero Reply

    Your point about limiting screen time while you’re with the kids is so true! Kids don’t want to be told not to do something they see their parents doing all the time, I think limited screen time while with them really helps!

  15. SengkangBabies Reply

    Bringing them outdoors works for our family. Away from “digital” distractions and siblings’ games “invites!”

    cheers, Andy
    (SengkangBabies.com)

  16. Lyn Lee Reply

    Yes I agree a very important tip is to model the behaviour that I wish to see in my kids. So when we are having meals, I make it a point to keep my hp and focus on them. Behaviour is more often caught than taught!

  17. Jamie Reply

    Great points you have there… Especially kids nowadays growing up in Singapore, it’s gadgets EVERYWHERE!!!

    Agree with the point that we as parents set an example… Putting down our smartphones n engaging with our kids is a good reminder!!! Thus, outdoor play is a must…

    Xoxo,
    Jamie chaw
    (http://karmie080808.blogspot.sg)

  18. Angie Yeow Reply

    These are valuable tips! We will be balancing all these when we start giving them the freedom for gadgets. Right now, I believe in gadget free childhood habits. Other than their homework that requires iPad, we occupy them like how you’ve described. Lots of free play, family time and outdoors. We do however let them enjoy tv during weekends. Will definitely be keeping in mind all your valid tips! Thanks for sharing!

  19. Coffeeandtoastmama Reply

    My boys watch too much tv for my liking. That’s the screen-time they have. I don’t allow them to use my iphone except special occasions for 5-10 mins. Still, they love cartoons. I admit using it as my baby sitter way too much.

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  21. Isabelle W. Rosta Reply

    All your points here are really good tips! Gadgets and internet in this generation are unavoidable and will be part of their future so its a necessity but so are hands on skills so we need to find a balance between the two.

  22. Lavanya Reply

    I hope this is very much essential topic to discuss. I have 2 kids one 3.8 yrs other 8 months old. They are Super active and I don’t want them to be stuck to routine play, screen time or giving them to my helper. I started practising wen my elder one was around 8 months old to be gadget free almost all the times. We don’t have connection for tv, no iPads or notebooks or what ever hinder their play time. It’s little difficult to engage them all the time with their toys as they have something else in their tiny minds. But I made it by spending all the time with them like playing with Soft toys, dough, slime or water etc. My elder likes to help me in kitchen so I give her small tasks to finish and she will be very much happy. My hubby and myself don’t watch any Programmes in tv or hand phones when they are awake or around. I use phone only to attend calls or anything urgent or important when they are with me . Tv will not on during weekends too. Younger one following like sis now.. As a parent I compromise on certain things to make them grow healthily happily. I feel what we inculcate to them from very tender age they follow on the same wen they grow. It differs g on parent to parent and kid by kid and age by age too. Some many factors influence parenting which is not a simple one. Thanks to RainbowDiaries for such a useful topic.

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