It’s almost impossible to stop your child from using tablets or computer devices. Even if you try to take it away from them, you’ll notice it makes your life tougher as there aren’t many replacements that can keep a child at bay as a tablet or device can.
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And to be quite fair, it’s not always a bad thing. Smart devices can be educational, practical and purposeful, as long as it’s not abused. Limiting screen time for kids appropriately is so important between the difference of raising children well and raising children poorly.
Risks of too much screen time for children are as follow:
- Obesity or being overweight as they do not have other leisure activities requiring physical activity
- Irregular sleep schedules and shorter duration of sleep
- Behavioural and temperamental issues
- Lack of social skills or awareness of others
- Violence or aggressive behaviour
Best Ways to Limit Your Child’s Screen Time
1. Spend more time with your child
When your child is at school or playing with friends, chances are they won’t be needing a smart device. It is only when they are at home and have nothing to do will they pop out their favourite gadgets.
This is why you should spend more time with your child. Whether it’s getting in some physical activity, having a chit chat over some food, or doing tasks at home together, these are all better options for you and your child to bond rather than needlessly playing smart devices.
2. Go out as a family
Getting your child out of the house with their whole family is an excellent way to bond, get in human interaction and develop social skills. If you can do this consistently, ensure your child has a good time, they won’t have a strong need to play with smart devices anymore.
3. Enroll them in a team sport
One of the most important things that a smart device can’t do for your child is to develop teamwork and relationships with others.
Enrolling them in a team sport on the weekend or in after school programs is an excellent way for them to socialize with others, make friends, learn new skills and become more physically active.
If your child enjoys playing sports, they may end up having a lesser interest in smart devices. You will only know if you try.
4. Buy them nonelectronic leisure materials
If your child is young, instead of buying them video games or electronic gadgets, try sticking with dolls, figurines and most importantly, books.
People have the perception that electronic devices are the greatest sources for child education, but going back to basics such as books or educational props and toys, gives your child a less harmful, more manageable alternative.
5. Monitor your child’s online activity
Any parent who has no clue on what their child is viewing online is putting their child at serious risk of developing behavioural or more concerning problems and behaviours.
Download an application where you can monitor what they are seeing, or make sure you block harmful content from being exposed on your device.
6. Keep their sleeping environment screen-free
Another time when children are most likely to play with computer devices or stare at a screen is at night and just before bed. When they have exerted all their energy during the day, they want to do something relaxing and watching TV or playing a video game is usually that.
That’s fine, but ensure they stop watching at least an hour before bed and keep their room device free. If your child is rebellious, they may try to play smart devices when you aren’t looking should you leave it in their room.
7. Set a good example
Though this article may seem as if children are the abusers of electronics, adults are just as bad, if not worse. Any parent will know that if you’re telling your child not to do a particular thing, while the parents can’t follow the same rules, it’s not as easy for your child to drop their habits.
Put down your phone, tablet device or electronics and spend time with your child. Show them that life does not revolve around staring at a screen and that it’s okay.
Keep in Mind
Remember, tablets and computer gadgets for children can be beneficial for their development as long as you don’t let them abuse it or use it for the wrong purposes. The amount of educational resources available through technology for children is at an all-time best at the moment, but so is harmful content.
Be sure to monitor what your child is viewing, how much they’re on it, and never let it get out of hand. Always make sure your child has other activities that can keep their physical and mental health at best.
If you aren’t sure what to do or have any questions regarding raising your children, speak with your child’s doctor.
Head over to the Okadoc app to immediately book an appointment with your health practitioner.
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