Do you wish that your little ones were spending more time outdoors? Are you in a constant battle to limit your kids’ screen time?
This is a very common problem for modern families, with technology largely impacting the quality of our kids’ lives and their growth mindset. Many parents struggle daily to control device usage and would rather their kids explore the wonders of life offline.
Here are 5 tips to wean your kids off their screens:
1. Be a great role model
It can be hard to reinforce a healthy off-screen lifestyle for your kids if you are also addicted to using your devices. Having your phone constantly in-hand or lounging in front of the TV for hours will trigger the mirror neurons in your child’s brain, urging them to do the same.
The first step to weaning your kids off screens is to limit your use of devices in front of them.
2. Establish screen time limits before they plug-in
When your child is on their device they lose track of time. In psychology, this is called a state of ‘flow’. When this state is suddenly interrupted your child may throw a tantrum.
To avoid this, establish your boundaries for screen usage before they begin playing, giving them fair warning before its time to stop.
3. Give young children quantities of time instead of timeframes
Young children under the age of 6 have difficulty understanding the concept of time. Use blocks of measurements they can understand to limit their screen time.
For instance, they can watch two episodes of cartoons, or reach level 3 on their game before unplugging.
4. Be specific and persistent with boundaries
For older children, allocate regular and specific times when they can use their devices. Having these set timeframes will give kids a clear end for their screen time and will help parents remember when these limits are.
For instance, they can only watch cartoons from 4 pm to 5 pm on weekdays.
5. Schedule time outdoors
Set specific times for your kids to spend time in nature, to help quieten their minds. Research suggests that spending time outside recalibrate’s a child’s brain and greatly benefits their attention span.