How to manage screen time addiction for kids

In this time we are living in everything revolves around some kind of screen.
There are screens everywhere.My household is no exception.We own a tv,laptop,phones and video games.Just like almost everyone.

We spend the majority of our time glued to a screen including my 1-year-old. Yess I know shame on me.Honestly i didn’t realize my child was getting addicted to her phone. Yes I said her phone.
My child is so smart that she even know my code pattern. She unlocked my phone got on YouTube to watch her favorite cartoon. Since that day I gave her an old phone we don’t use anymore.

I got my child addicted to technology and I blame myself for that.
Every time I needed some time for myself I turned the tv on. every time I needed time to clean the house or finish cooking etc I would shove her with the phone .Just so I could get my things done. But most of the time she is watching educational videos or children’s songs.

One morning when I finished breakfast I told her that it’s time to eat. I called her a few times and she just ignored me. I took the phone away and she had the biggest tantrum ever. Crying,screaming kicking all that because I took the phone away. I tought that it was just a one time thing. But after that day she did it every time I wanted to take he phone away. That’s when I realized that she was addicted to her phone. It was time to manage her screen addiction.

For the people that don’t know Screen Time is basically every single time you spend watching a technology based screen. For example tv,phone,tablet,computer and video games.

Dangers of screen time:
To much screen time has a negative effect on the brain and it affects your child’s development.

  • Poor concentration
  • Obesity
  • Poor social skills
  • Lack of sleep
  • aggression
  • Vision problems

The above has been linked with too much screen time. But those are not the only dangers the internet has to offer.
If you are a parent I assume you are familiar with pepa pig, ana and elsa.Sadly the are some sick people in this world who tought of the idea to turn this children’s cartoons into some kind of porn and other violent crimes. If you google  something like disturbing youtube videos tricking children’s you will find more information about those videos.
When using youtube your child can just stumble on one of this sick videos on youtube and that will traumatized your child for sure.

For older children’s there is always the dangers of sharing too much information with strangers.
Social media has a big influence in your children’s life.Always have parental control on those devices. You must be accessible anytime to their phone you must know the password. Keep an eye on what your children’s are doing online.

How to manage screen time:

  • As a parent with young children I advise you to put parental control on your devices.
  • Block and filter certain sites and content.
  • Instead of downloading games I recommend you to download educational apps.
  • I know you can’t be all the time near your child but try to monitor what they are watching.
  • Limit access to the internet
  • Change your wi-fi code often.
  • Set some rules

Screen time rules:
Screen time rules will help you battle against screen time addiction.
You can set as many rules as you find fitting for your family.
The rules I have till now for my own daughter ( almost 2 years old) are:

  1. No screen time right before bed
  2. No screen time at meal time
  3. She is only allowed 1 hour screen time during the day. Which I stretch out during the whole day. Example: Every few hours 10 min of screen time.(mostly when I need to get things done)
  4. Unless it is really necessary she is allowed to have more screen time. Example doctors office or if we are watching a movie as a family.

Some rules for older children’s are:

  1. Screen time only after home work
  2. Make them earn their screen time.
    Example making your bed allows you to 10 minutes of screen time.
  3. No screen time right before bed
  4. Don’t download ebooks. Go to a bookstore or library.
  5. Only weekends: If your Child gets lots of screen time at school. You can ban screen time during the week.

If your child is used to screen time eliminating it completely  with no replacement  will be a total fail. Because you will most probably have a grumpy child.
Replace screen time with something productive.Let them choose their own activities.

Creative and educational non screen time ideas:

  • Play time
  • Reading
  • Music
  • Art & craft
  • Sports

Let your child choose what activities they want to do. It must be somethings they love so that they won’t miss those devices.

Lead by example Invest time in your child.
Children’s mimic everything you do. So you too need to reduce your screen time too.
If you are 24/7 glued to your phone or your partner is glued to the tv. How can you expect your child not to get addicted to those devices.

 Let us know in the comment section what you do to

prevent screen time addiction?