It is hard to imagine our kids without their smart devices these days. Gone are the days when they used to sit in front of the TV, watching their favourite movie series or step outside to play an outdoor sport with their friends. With the invention of technology and social media, their activities and interests have significantly changed.
Have you ever thought about what would happen if we let our kids and teens spend almost all their time behind a screen? They would not only become addicted to the internet and social media but also go on to the extent of ignoring the other important aspects of their lives including studies, house chores, social engagement, etc.
Without adult guidance, most kids would keep on spending a huge chunk of time on their screens. To make sure your kids do not spend too much time using their digital devices, you need to limit their screen time by following some strategies. Using an Android or iPhone spy app is also one way to reduce your kid’s screen time.
Strategies to Limit Your Kid’s Screen Time
You can reduce your kid’s screen time and make sure they spend their time somewhere else by following a few important strategies. Let’s take a look at them to limit your kid’s screen time to a reasonable, healthy amount.
Educate Yourself on Technology
Most of the kids and teens are tech-savvy these days. They become technical experts even before we know it. In fact, they know more about technology, digital devices, and social media than most adults do.
To match up with their knowledge of technology, it is important for parents to stay up-to-date on the latest software, mobile apps, or the trendiest social media craze. You won’t be able to teach your kids about the risks and dangers they can face on the internet unless you understand them themselves.
Therefore, you need to educate yourself first about technology and digital devices and how they are affecting your kids.
Become a Good Digital Role Model
As a parent, you must become a healthy digital role model for your kids. Kids and teens follow their parents and do whatever their parents are doing. The same applies to electronics usage as well. You need to set a good and healthy example before your kids so they can follow your footsteps.
Make sure you do not use cellphones in front of your kids while eating a meal, watching TV, or spending time with family. If you avoid the use of cellphones and spend more time with your kids while they are awake, you can help them learn this habit. It’s recommended to use your phone once your kids go to bed.
Create “Technology-Free Zones”
Establishing “technology-free zones” in your house can also be a good strategy to reduce your kid’s screen time. You need to create a zone in your house where you and your kids are not allowed to use digital devices such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets.
For instance, the dining room in your house can be an area where you can establish the “technology-free zone” because that is mostly reserved only for meals and family conversations.
Discuss Demerits of Excess Screen Time with Your Kids
You can discuss the demerits or dangers of too much screen time with your kids to make them understand why they shouldn’t spend too much time before screens. You can follow the strategy where you can teach your kids to understand, “it’s not healthy to spend too much time before screens” instead of them thinking that they cannot use their devices because their parents are mean with them.
In a decent and friendly manner, you can explain to them the dangers of the digital world by telling them that they can encounter harmful content while they are watching a movie or playing an online game.
Also, it is very important that you also discuss the potential dangers of cyberbullying and online predators. Sit down with them and talk about how you can work together as a family to fight against these online dangers.
Install Parental Controls and Monitoring Apps
Enabling parental controls and installing monitoring apps on your kids’ devices is another important strategy to limit their screen time. You can protect your kids from watching adult content on the internet by monitoring and controlling what they are doing and what they are watching online.
For example, you can use the best iPhone spy software or Android monitoring app to monitor what they are doing on their devices. If you find them watching something inappropriate, you can block those sites and apps and consequently, reduce their screen time to give them a lesson.
Encourage Other Activities
It is quite natural for kids to become dependent on technology when it comes to seeking fun and entertainment. They seek entertainment by watching movies, TV shows, playing online games, chatting with friends on social media, etc.
However, they need to understand that they can also look for fun by engaging themselves in other activities. You need to encourage them to become involved in activities that do not involve screens. Make them read a good book, play an outdoor sport, or help you out with the house chores.
Make Screen Time a Privilege
When you teach your kids that screen time should be a privilege and not a right, you can make them spend less time in front of screens. Whenever they do not obey something or do not comply with the rules set by you, you have all the right to take away privileges such as the use of a computer, cell phone, or TV time.
As soon as you have set a limit on how much time they can spend before their screens, make it a point to never allow them to earn extra screen time as a reward. Instead, you need to strictly stick to the daily screen time limit and offer other free or low-cost rewards.
Never Allow Kids to Use Devices in their Rooms
It would become impossible for you to monitor your kid’s internet usage and to determine how much time they are spending before screens if you allow them to use devices in their rooms. Never allow them to use the computer, cellphone, or gaming console inside their room.
Instead, ask them to use devices in front of you. You can also put the devices in a common room, for instance, the living room so you can also watch what they are doing on the internet.