Parents to this day are still debating about how much screen time is good for their kids. Today’s generation of parents faces a unique challenge because there are more screens than ever before. Once upon a time, there would be one screen that the entire family would crowd around. Today we carry one or two around with us everywhere we go. So, the question is, how much time should your kids be spending in front of a screen?
The answer depends on who you ask, but the general rule of thumb is that the younger your children are, the less time they should spend in front of a screen. Especially for children under 3, you should avoid exceeding more than an hour a day if you can. For older children, it depends on other factors such as whether you’re etc. When it comes to screen time, there is the right way to use it. Keep these tips in mind to help your kids to develop healthy screen time habits:
1. Set the example
Despite what your kids may say, you are their number one role model. Which means they use you as a model for their behaviour. Take a moment to think about how much time you spend using a screen in front of them. All those hours spent on a laptop, on calls, watching TV, and scrolling your socials – they see it all. So, if they see you constantly using screens – can you honestly expect them to want to do anything differently? When it comes to screens, things start with you as a parent so try to set a good example.
2. Choose quality content
Next, it’s time to choose the right content. Think of it like giving your child a snack – if they’re going to eat one, it may as well be good for them. The same goes for screen time. For example, there are some great free cartoons for toddlers that are created to not only entertain your kids but teach them important life lessons too.
3. Don’t use it as a fallback
Lastly, try to avoid falling into the trap of using screen time as a failsafe. When your kids are being difficult or you’re tired or you have things to do, it’s easy to throw them the remote or stick them in front of a tablet. This is what makes your kids as reliant on screens as you. Instead, try to make screen time a part of their routine or a treat instead. This way, it will become one of their many interests rather than the only thing they want to do.
To make screen time a healthy experience instead of a bad habit, follow the tips in this guide.