7 best tips to help limit your child’s screen time
“Television is the menace that everyone loves to hate but can’t seem to live without.” — Paddy Chayevsky
There’s a reason why television is called the idiot box. But in the case of children, it takes on even more dangerous dimensions, what with not only the violence and profanity-laden language used on it, but also the glitzy world of ads that it sucks them into—of foods you don’t want them to eat and of toys you can’t afford. So, you need to limit child television time.
Here are 7 best tips to help limit your child’s screen time.
1. Be the perfect role model.
Children will always gravitate toward the modelled behaviours of their parents. If they see you reading a book, they are more likely to read. And if they see you watching television, so will they. It is your job to
2. Encourage healthy behaviours and limit unhealthy ones
Sometimes this means making unpopular decisions. Make these tough decisions for your children. And always go the next step of explaining why you have made the decision – this will help them follow through and someday choose it for themselves.
3. Go out whenever you can
Going to the park, play time, a visit to a museum—must be introduced in your child’s life. It not only makes them more active, you also get to spend fun and quality time with them.
4. Cut your Cable / Remove Your Television Completely
If you want a sure-fire way to limit child’s television viewing habits, cut your cable/satellite television feed (or remove your television completely). It will positively impact your check book too.
5. Set limited child television time
Choose the appropriate television viewing windows for your kids. Use the sleep feature on your television to force the TV to shut itself off after thirty minutes. It will change your family’s life overnight.
6. Be Involved in Their Lives by playing with them and encourage other activities
Don’t turn on the television to engage your children but involve yourselves in the lives of their children. Get down on the floor with your kids and pick up a ball, car, or checkers. And you can also provide the necessary resources (books to read, board games, art supplies, and/or sporting equipment).
It takes intentionality and selfless love when they are 6. But when they turn 13, you’ll be glad you did.
7. Observe Your Child’s Behavioural Changes.
Television has an immediate impact on your child’s behaviour. After too much television/video games, my children get irritable, aggressive, selfish, and impatient. I can tell almost the moment I walk in the door. Be on the look-out for these behavioural changes. When you start to notice them yourself, you’ll be less inclined to put your kids in front of the screen.
Don’t let the TV steal them from you.