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How to Limit Screen Time for Kids

Screen time isn’t all bad. However, it should be a well-balanced part of your child’s day. Here are seven practical steps for how to limit screen time for kids.

How to Limit Screen Time for Kids

We have all heard that there are several side effects to watching screens too much. However, technology is an integral part of our society. There is some benefit, and even necessity, to be able to effectively use electronic devices. The trick is to teach our children about the good and bad consequences of technology use, and to teach them how to safely use devices such as smartphones and tablets. Here are seven tips on how to limit screen time for kids.

1. Set a screen time schedule

Set a schedule for when your children may watch TV or use a tablet. For example, You may allow your children to only watch TV on certain days of the week or use a tablet for fifteen minutes per day. This will create a sense of security and predictability.

2. Teach your children about the side effects of too much screen time

Children are curious and will feel more empowered if they know why they may only watch a certain amount of TV. Educate them about the reason behind the rules that you set for screen time.

  • Extended periods of time spent looking at screens may cause eye dryness, myopia, blurry vision, headaches, and lethargy.
  • Too much screen time may lead to a sedentary lifestyle and prevent your children from engaging all of their senses sufficiently throughout the day. 
  • Insomnia is another possible side effect of spending too much time in front of a screen. The blue light emitted by the screens may block melatonin, the hormone that makes you sleepy.

3. Set an example

We can’t make rules for our children and then live by a different set of standards. If you have made a rule of no screens at dinner time, then you can't be scrolling through your IG feed while having meals together.

4. Create tech-free zones in the home

Do you want to know how to limit screen time on iPhones? Decide together on rooms in the house where no one may bring their electronic devices into. This helps to break device dependency and prevents us from the distractions of the pings and beeps of notifications on our devices.

5. Help them to find other fun things to do

This is especially true for younger children who haven't quite yet learned how to come up with activities for themselves. You can’t switch the TV off and then tell them to go and play outside. Help them to get started with a fun activity or give them a few exciting ideas about what they can do instead of watching TV. Another tip for how to limit screen time is to encourage your children to play with toys that spark their imagination and stimulate their creativity. 

  • Get them going with some magnetic blocks or LEGO. 
  • Encourage them to play with their dolls’ houses or train sets.

6. Use apps for limiting screen time

It's so easy to get caught up in the myriad of things that you need to get done in a day. You quickly turn the TV on and say to the kids, "you can watch for thirty minutes while I cook dinner". Before you know it, sixty minutes have gone by and they are still glued to the screen. To help you monitor the amount of time your children spend engaging with screens, make use of some of the fantastic technology available. You can find apps to install on your device and/or your child’s device if they have one already. There are options to set usage time and schedule blocked periods for homework, exercise, and sleep. 

Balance is important

These days screen time is an inevitability. And it is not entirely awful. Electronic devices can help us teach our kids and entertain them while we are getting things done around the house. The importance is to balance screen time with a healthy amount of exercise, outdoor play, and time to use their imaginations. At Save, we are all about helping you to save money on everyday things as well as special items. Subscribe to the Save mailer to receive weekly coupons for everything from grocery items to children's toys!