How to control and limit the time your children spend in front of the screen?

A recent study found that of nearly 700 parents surveyed, more than half felt guilty about the time their children spent in front of the screen. Whether they watch too many TV shows, play video games for hours, or scroll on their smartphones, children of all ages seem to be spending more and more time online and in front of their screens. However, there are ways to encourage them to make more productive use of their time by learning to limit screen time.

The Effects of Too Much Screen Time on Children

Screen time that is too long for children can have negative effects, such as sleep disturbances, mood problems, self-esteem problems, and weight problems.

For one thing, using a cell phone right before bed can interfere with sleep. Also, kids who spend too much time on their smartphones are less likely to be active and productive. Kids can get into trouble online too if they’re not careful. Or if your parents are inattentive, it is easy, unfortunately, to fall prey to predators on the Internet.

But it is a bit difficult to analyze how much screen time is desirable. Because children can, for example, learn through educational programs on their digital devices. Well that the recherches sur le temps passé devant an écran par les enfants soient encore a peu limitées, les premières études montrent que les enfants de moins de 18 mois ne devraient pas passer de temps devant un écran, à l’exception des conversations vidéo avec the family.

In contrast, children ages 18 months to 5 years must spend less than an hour a day in front of a screen. And this hour should be limited to educational content. Many psychologists believe that young children do not learn much from screens. Because their skills are not developed enough to understand what is happening, unlike older children. After age 5, it really is up to the parents to decide the appropriate screen time. Which means you need to consider how much of that screen time is educational. There is no right or wrong answer here and it is ultimately up to each family to decide.

How to reduce the time your children spend in front of the screen

Ultimately, it is up to parents to set the rules for when children can use their devices (other than for educational purposes). Here are some tips on what you can do to structure the situation.

Turn off Wi-Fi at certain times

One of the easiest ways to regulate Internet use at home is to turn off Wi-Fi.

Remember to do this at night and whenever you need your child to be busy with other things (chores or meals with the family, for example). It is important to ensure that your child does not have a chance to turn Wi-Fi back on. If possible, put your modem or router in a place that only you can access, so that you are the only one. able to turn it on and off. Or just unplug it.

However, keep in mind that many devices also run on 3G or 4G, which is another thing to consider. Turning off Wi-Fi may not turn off smartphones.

Pick up your phone at certain times

Just as many children have to put their smartphones away during school hours, you can ask them to do the same at home during certain hours. Allow your child to have their device for a while, but consider asking them to put it away at mealtime, at bedtime, and any other time when using a device is prohibited.

Of course, you don’t want to take their phones away from them when they go out, especially without you, but devices aren’t always as necessary at home. Also, if you take their phones home at night, they (maybe) will spend more time with you, which many parents appreciate.

Use parental controls

Many devices and some apps have parental controls to limit usage. For example, on streaming services, parents can set a limit on what children can watch on their account, which means you can limit what they can access.

If your child has an Android device, Google has a helpful guide to setting up useful parental controls on devices through Google Play, which will limit all aspects of device use.

Also, Apple offers a parental control guide for iPads, iPod Touches, and iPhones to limit what your child can do on their devices. Again, this will limit all aspects of the device, including internet searches, Siri functionality, and app downloads.

Use apps for a limited time

There are several ways to find out more about your child’s screen time and try to limit it using apps.

If you are using an Apple device, you can control your screen time by going to the Settings app, then Screen Time. From there, users can set timers for certain apps, block content, and schedule downtime.

If your child has an Android device, you can also control screen time by going to the Settings app and then selecting Digital Wellbeing. As with Apple, you can set timers in apps, limit content, and customize which apps can be used and when. Beyond these built-in features, there are other apps that extend this functionality and give you even more influence on what can be used and when.

Encourage other activities

It’s easy for us to tell you to ask your child to drop their phone and do something else. But it won’t necessarily. Instead of just telling them to get off the phone, try encouraging them to do other activities. And in addition to encouraging them, participate in these activities. Spend time with your child playing outside, going on adventures, exercising, doing crafts, or doing anything you can think of that doesn’t require looking at a screen. Not only does it encourage them to put down their phones, it does the same as well. You lead by example and spend quality time with your children, for which you will probably both be grateful for years to come.

To go further on this topic

Source: “.com”

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