Setting screen time boundaries for your child

As we all struggle with the overdose of gadgets and content addiction, it is imperative to ensure that our child does not get trapped in this fantastical electronic world. We list a few strategies that can help in avoiding this.

With electronics spilling out of every drawer and populating every nook of our house, they undoubtedly are a source of fascination, which soon progresses into addiction, for all of us. Add entertaining content, and well, we have a winner for the first position in order of preferences, when looking for options to pass our time. Therefore, it is no surprise that children are somewhat addicted to screens too. But as has been repeatedly stated by psychologists, this screen time needs to be limited. And while we all struggle with drawing lines, this is one line that has to be drawn. Some simple strategies that can help in setting limits for children are as follows:

Lead by example 

It is important for parents to set the right example. If we spend all our time on gadgets, and this includes browsing our phones too, children are bound to copy what we do. To teach them that it is okay to be without gadgets, we first need to put ours away, so switch off the tv, stay away from the tablets, and pretend you’ve lost your phone. For a while at least! 

Set limits 

Just like there are limits set for everything in life, for example, eating chocolates, don’t forget to set limits for screen time. And once these limits are set, make sure that they are stringently followed. If the rules can be bent, children will do everything that they can to bend the rules!

Let them decide 

Living a gadget-free life is impossible in the current times, these act as a source of entertainment, engagement, and are even a huge part of education. However, if we decide when a child will be allowed screen time and what device would they use, it adds to the friction. Instead, setting time limits and letting them choose the gadget that they would like to use and what they would like to watch makes them feel like they have a choice. And this would reduce the friction, give them an opportunity to make decisions, and make them feel independent. 

Monitor the content 

While giving them an option to choose their gadget and how they would like to spend the allotted screen time is important, it is even more important to monitor what they are watching. We need to ensure that the content that they consume is age-appropriate. Video games that involve violence can be extremely addictive and have an impact o the child’s overall well-being, therefore, monitoring the content is imperative. 

Childhood is precious and the minds of children are pliable. It is important to monitor what influences them. Gadget addiction can negatively impact their psychological health and therefore, it is important to ensure that the time spent hooked to gadgets is limited. A few steps in the right direction can go a long way in controlling this behavior. 

We hope these tips will assist in setting digital boundaries. Please share tips that have worked for you in teaching children to limit gadget usage. Email us at authors@mindfulsouls.org

Author: Latika Sakhuja 

 

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