• Wean Your Screen Routine

  • In today’s world, the influence of technology is almost inescapable. Television, tablets, and cell phones have taken over, and the days of bike rides and treehouses seem like a thing of the past. Sure, these devices can serve a purpose. Interactive learning even plays a part in classrooms worldwide. But limiting screen time is a first step in nurturing a child’s creativity, real-world problem-solving skills, and socialization among peers.

    When trying to manage the amount of time your child is spending with technology, it’s important to consider your goals. Maybe have a discussion with them about what you’d like to see happening around the home. Would you prefer them to be doing something else instead?

    Below are a few ideas of how to succeed in helping your child “unplug” once in a while.

    1. Make it a privilege

    Being a parent isn’t easy, and you could probably use some help around the house. If your child has responsibilities in the home, such as helping with the dishes, putting toys away after use, or another chore, don’t give the green light for screen time until these tasks are complete. This teaches responsibility and makes it that much more satisfying when they finally get to settle in with their favorite game or show.

    2. Use passcodes and parental controls

    Most devices allow you to set a password or code to grant access. Some even come equipped with a feature that allows you to lock the screen remotely from your personal device. Consider using a passcode number that is unfamiliar to your child so that it isn’t as easy to guess as, say, your birthday.

    3. Remain engaged with your child!

    Children often turn to technology when their world becomes boring or lonely. Think about setting aside time for joint activities, such as board games, a trip to the park, or a swim in the pool. This fosters a stronger parent-child relationship and gives both of you something to look forward to, especially if it becomes a regular element to your weekly routine.

    Resisting the pull of technology is quite a feat, and it sometimes just seems easier to hand a child your tablet or phone and let them entertain themselves. But to ensure their health and wellbeing, limiting this habit may be in your best interest. Try it out, and see the difference it can make!