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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6 comments on “Limiting Kids’ Screen Time”

  1. 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.

  2. 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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