According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children should spend no more than two hours out of their day solely devoted to their electronic devices due to the harmful effects they bring.
Parents, don’t fret—you’re not the only family who struggles with this dilemma. All parents should pay extra attention to their children’s screen time habits and limit their person-to-screen interaction, especially during summer break when kids have so much free time on their hands. Multiple studies have confirmed that children who spend too much time on electronic devices have shown an increase in delayed cognitive development.
Follow these tips for suggestions on how to break the screen time cycle.
No devices in the bedroom. In addition to personal smartphones, these devices include laptops, iPads, televisions and video games. Place these electronics in common areas of your home. When your children use screens in common areas, it’s easier to keep track of what they’re watching, the games they’re playing and the time they’re spending doing so.
Screen-free nights. Host a family night in which everyone in the family agrees to leave their screens behind for a few hours.
Monkey see… Everyone knows how this saying ends. Set a positive example for your children by limiting the amount of time you spend of your own devices. If your kids see that you make no effort to limit your own screen time, they will not see the importance behind following the screen time restrictions you set for them.
Find other ways to have fun. Because many parents have decided to put limits on how long their child can spend on their devices each day, they should also provide plenty of fun ideas for other ways to pass the screen-free time. Stock up on art supplies, books and board games. Summertime is a great time to do family activities you might not have time to do during the school year. Take a day trip, go on a bike ride, have a kickball tournament with neighborhood friends or have a water balloon fight. Take advantage of the downtime to get outside and have some fun.
Binge day. Pick one day out of the month as a day to allow your children to spent as much time as they would like on their devices. These days will break up the rules you choose to implement regarding screen time.