Screen time management for your child

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A  screen looms large in our homes, during our travel, providing us resource, academic updates and entertainment . It transcends down to our children too who are adept with newer apps, gadgets, add-ons and they find a realm of their own even for entertainment in the vivacious world of screens.

In one of my counselling sessions a child was dragonized with hyperactive adhd. I put before him alternatives to the mobile and pat came a reply “ Ma’am the online games help us with hand-eye coordination”

Here are few tips to help your child lower the screen time :

Set clear limits and guidelines: Establish specific rules regarding screen time usage, such as the duration and times when screens are allowed. Guidelines and the consequences of breaking rules to be clear.

Be a role model: Children often imitate their parents’ behavior, so it’s essential to model healthy screen habits yourself. Limit your own screen time and prioritize real-life interactions and activities to show your child the importance of balance.

Create tech-free zones and times: Designate certain areas or times in your home where screens are not allowed, such as during meal times or in bedrooms. Encourage family members to engage in alternative activities, like reading, helping with chores, chopping vegetables. playing board games, or spending time outdoors.

Encourage physical activity: For over all well being and social interaction do encourage outdoor play, sports, or other physical activities that can divert their attention away from screens and promote a healthier lifestyle.

Provide alternatives and variety: Offer a range of engaging and age-appropriate activities for your child that do not involve screens. This can include hobbies, arts and crafts, puzzles, music, or sports. Let them unfold new interests and passions.

Use parental controls and monitoring tools: Utilize the parental control features available on devices and apps to restrict access to inappropriate content and set time limits.

Foster open communication: Create an environment where your child feels comfortable discussing their online experiences with you. Share your own experiences, failures too or any shortcoming that you overcame. They will emulate you here too.

Establish tech-free bedtime routines: The use of screens before bedtime can negatively impact sleep quality. Encourage your child to avoid screens at least an hour before bedtime and instead engage in relaxing activities like reading or storytelling.

Encourage offline social interactions: Foster opportunities for your child to interact with friends and family members in person. Encourage playdates, family outings, and community involvement to promote social skills and reduce reliance on virtual interactions.

Monitor and adjust as needed: Regularly evaluate your child’s screen time habits and make adjustments accordingly. Every child is different, so be flexible and adapt the rules to suit their age, developmental stage, and individual needs.

Be a cool parent :Remember, the goal is to strike a balance between technology use and other aspects of a child’s life. Also, do not snatch a gadget or curtail the tech advantage totally. Explain, talk, goad them to explore alternatives and they will learn to strike a balance.

#coolparenting #reducescreentime #modernparenting

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