3 Actionable Rules for Your Child’s Screen Time
With research showing that too much screen time can negatively impact children’s education, many parents are looking for ways to cut down the amount of time their children spend staring at a screen. If you want to limit your child’s screen time without facing daily arguments, start implementing these hard and fast rules today.
1. Screen Time Is a Privilege
Remind your kids that screen time is a privilege, not a right. Kids need to earn screen time through good behavior, hard work at school and doing all of their chores. If your child refuses to fulfill his or her end of the deal, then don’t allow any screen time. However, when the child behaves well, you need to follow through with the promised reward. If your child prefers to use his or her device in the family room or kitchen, it may run low on power. A portable charger can extend the battery life of the device and your child can fully enjoy his or her earned screen time.
2. Screen Time Isn’t Private
Electronic devices can open up a huge range of learning opportunities for kids. Educational games teach tricky concepts in fun ways, while the internet contains a vast range of learning resources to help kids with their studies. However, there are also some sites that are unsuitable or even dangerous for children. Allow your child to safely reap the benefits of screen time by supervising him or her while playing and learning online. Keep internet-connected devices in the main family room and consider installing parental control software that allows you to monitor the sites your child is visiting.
3. Screen Time Has Defined Start and End Times
Screen time needs to have clearly defined start and end times, otherwise it’s very easy for it to expand to taking up much of the day. A recent study showed that children between 8 and 10 spend an average of nearly 8 hours each day in front of a screen, while for older kids it’s up to 11 hours a day. This can lead to your child having problems with sleeping, schoolwork, aggressive behavior and obesity. By placing strict limits on screen time, you can protect your child from these harmful effects. Once your child gets used to the idea that screen time ends at 8 p.m. with no exceptions, then you won’t need to argue about it every time. Enforcing start and end times can be tough at first, but the rewards are worth it.
Key Takeaway: Controlled Screen Time is Beneficial
Screen time rules allow kids to enjoy the educational benefits of computers and mobile devices, without putting them at risk. Use these actionable rules to control screen time in your household and keep your child safe and happy.