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6 Ways to Help Kids Cut-Down Screen Time From Charlotte Caregivers

Child DevelopmentParent Resources

3rd December 2021

Screen time has reached astronomical proportions this last year, about 10 hours a day to be precise. Screen burnout is not just a problem for adults, as kids are feeling the strain of lengthy screen times as well. Screens may be a part of today’s culture, but there are several health benefits to reducing that time., including improved physical health and more time to play and explore their personal surroundings. Here are six ways to help your child cut down on screen time when their caregiving services or school sessions wrap up for the day.

Set Expectations

Two or less screen time is recommended for children two and up. Barring school, family movie night, or online child care services, this is an achievable goal. Communicate with your child about how they would like to spend their hour of screen time and what they are allowed to play. For example, the hour can be broken up or all at once but must consist of playing edutainment exercises like puzzles, math games, word games, hidden objects, and so on.

Be Realistic

Going cold turkey from screen time can be a bit jarring if marathon screen times are already part of your child’s daily routine. Instead of leading with the recommended limit, start by cutting increments out of their screen time instead. Such as 6 hours being taken down to 5, 4, and 3, until you reach the sweet spot.

Stay Involved

After child care, school, or work, check in with your child. Practice face-to-face active listening as you talk to each other about your day. When the phone is away, try to keep your phone away as well, and continue to practice play, learning, and active listening.

Reduce Your Screen Time Too

When you are in screen-free hours, make sure the devices are put away or at a charging station in a visible part of the house, like a common area or living room. This will reduce the attention they will draw from your child and decrease the temptation to break screen-free hour rules.

Create A Phone-Free Zone

Designate certain parts of the house as phone-free zones, like the dinner table, family movie nights, and bedrooms (around bedtime). This can also incrementally help cut down on screen time even if the child is not in one of their screen-free blocks.

Get outside

Playing outdoors, enjoying a walk, heading to the park, grilling out are all ways to increase endorphins and limit phone time. Endorphins give your child’s brain—and yours!—happiness boosters that improve mood, physical health, and activity.

We all love playing on our phones, tablets, and PCs or consoles, but when we experience so much screen time in a day, it is good for all of us to take a break and a breath of fresh air.

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