It’s easy to let our time slip by when in front of the TV. In our home, we’re trying to make a better effort to turn off the screens and enjoy the life happening around us more. If you are looking for ways to decrease screen time with your kids, here are some of my best tips!
How much screen time is too much?
The American Academy of Pediatrics has these recommendations for screen time and kids:
- For children younger than 18 months, avoid use of screen media other than video-chatting. Parents of children 18 to 24 months of age who want to introduce digital media should choose high-quality programming, and watch it with their children to help them understand what they’re seeing.
- For children ages 2 to 5 years, limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality programs. Parents should co-view media with children to help them understand what they are seeing and apply it to the world around them.
- For children ages 6 and older, place consistent limits on the time spent using media, and the types of media, and make sure media does not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity and other behaviors essential to health.
Tips for managing and decreasing screen time with kids
Set rules and regulations for screen time
If you don’t want to allow your kids to spend all day in front of the TV, make rules! Rules can include tasks that need to be done before they can use a screen, like this printable here. Create a system that includes things like chores and school work to help make sure they get the necessary tasks done first. Set parental controls on apps and devices to turn off automatically when the max time is reached.
Set a good example for your kids
If you want them to spend less time in front of their screens, you need to spend less time in front of yours! This will help set a good example for them and make them more likely to spend less time in front of theirs. Have a timeframe where there are no screens allowed. You will notice how much more present you are and how much more enjoyable time can be. If you want to read more about simple tips to being more present, read more here.
Involvement in other activities
If you want your kids to leave the screens and you do not want the constant “I am SO bored mom!” provide outlets for something else to do. If they have toys to play with outside, they are more likely to do it! If they have books available, they are more likely to read them. Rotate out toys each month to garner more excitement and interest. Make sure you have these things ready to go and they’ll gravitate to those activities. My kids do better when we are busy so we spend a lot of time at local parks, the pool, and staying busy! Create a family summer bucket list to look at when you are running low on ideas, like this one!
Set TV time
Set a TV schedule that allows your family to watch shows and then it’s time to turn it off! This will ensure that no one spends too much time watching TV. We have a rule that we all have to agree on a show or movie. It is a great way to have everyone’s input and allow the kids to practice compromising.
Cut the cord
Cutting your cable bill or even removing the living room TV might sound drastic. But, if you want your family to watch less TV this can be a way to force it to happen! Removing screens from bedrooms will make less screen time a reality for everyone.
No matter how old your kids are, these tips will help them spend less time in front of a screen and more time enjoying the world around them. Share your thoughts on kids and screen time and what works for your family below!