5 Tips To Wean Your Kids Off Their Screens

how to get your kids off screens
Almost every kid has become addicted to screens (laptops, tablets, and mobile phones), and getting them off their screens can seem almost impossible.

No matter how hard it may seem, you can wean your kids off their screens by scheduling fun outdoor activities, whether that’s buying their favourite ride like a hoverboard go-kart attachment or going to the pool or beach. Of course, you should also be a good role model to your kids, and avoid excessive screen time yourself!

Since lots of screen time can cause sleep deprivation and increase the risk of inattentiveness and aggression, here are five tips to follow if you want to wean your kids off their screens.

how to wean your kids off screens

Tip #1 – Be a Role Model

You can’t preach to your kids what you don’t do – actions speak louder than words. If you are round the clock glued to screens in your home, your children will notice that, and they will follow suit.

Therefore, try to set a good example for your kids. Monitor your screen time and assess how you can limit it. You can also share with your kids how you’re trying to find balance in your life rather than being glued to devices, which again, may motivate them to do the same.

Tip #2 – Establish a Routine

In schools, children don’t beg the teacher to go to the playground just when school starts. They understand the routine and have become used to it. So, they go with the flow without whining.

You should do the same for your home. Set a routine and make sure your children follow it. For instance, you can allow them to use screens for 30 minutes daily after getting home from school. They may not agree with you at the start, but slowly they will begin to follow the routine.

Tip #3 – Encourage Independent Play

Most parents hand over electronic devices to their kids because they want to have “me-time”. However, this simply means that you’re setting expectations for a high amount of screen time.

Whilst all parents would like to devote as much time as they can to their children, realistically you can’t always give them 100% of your attention and focus. So, rather than giving them devices, encourage them to play independently with any of their favorite toys or activity.

You may have to be with them initially to give them the confidence to play alone, but gradually they will learn to play alone.

Tip #4 – Schedule Time Outdoors

Spending time outdoors can significantly help your children with their attention span and, at the same time, give them exposure to the “real” world. When you don’t make time for the outdoors, your kids will be bored, and using electronic devices will be their escape.

Therefore, schedule time outdoors as much as possible. Let your children have a say in it, so you can all have fun together. Whether it’s a trip to a supermarket, zoo, their favourite playground, the mountains, or the beach, make sure to plan it at least once a week.   

Tip #5 – Encourage Conversations

When you’re going out in a car or having a meal at home, electronic devices should be prohibited – make this a clear rule. Certain areas of the house should also be “no-screen” zones, such as the kitchen, to encourage conversations.

Try to talk to your children about their interests and their day. This will automatically encourage them to spend less screen time and have real conversations with you. 

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