7 Tips To Limit Your Child’s Screen Time Without Tears And Tantrums

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Screen time is addictive, and it doesn’t do any good for our children to be on devices for hours each day.

There is a strong connection between screen time and adverse effects it has on sleep, vision, physical health, mental health, and friendships and family relationships when children of any age exceed the 60 minute threshold of daily usage.

So it’s no surprise that lots of parents are concerned.

However, setting limits on how much TV / Video Game time your child has isn’t always easy in today’s technology forward world.

There are so many different ways that kids can be engaged with a screen.

Whether it is a cell phone, a tablet or a handheld game device like a Switch or a DS, it can be difficult to set limits for those devices and not deal with a ton of backlash from your child.

Here are some ways to avoid meltdowns when you take screens away from your child:

Set a time limit on devices and screens.

Whatever the time limit is you decide upon – be prepared to enforce it down to the second.

Once the time is up, it’s up and that’s it.

It’s just like setting boundaries for anything else in parenting.
If you don’t follow through on it, your kids will quickly learn they can push those boundaries – and they will
.

Explain what they lose when they devote time to devices.

Even young children who attend kindergarten know that time is limited.
Just explain to them that if they have 3 hours of leisure time and spend all of it playing games on their iPad, they won’t have time for painting, going out with friends, or enjoying a story before bed.
Believe it or not, they can prioritize.
Try not to fall victim to the bias that devices are evil.
They only become that way if we don’t know how to control ourselves.

Allow binge days.

After days of limited screen time, you can provide no limitations on the weekend, or you can give permission to have screen time on Saturday mornings only until 10am.

Whatever works for your family.

Make kids earn their screen time.

Your child can use a device or watch a show if they help you out with something.

For example, they have to do their chores, finish their reading for the day and make it through the school day without a complete meltdown.
If they do all of this, they can earn 60 minutes of screen time per day.
If some of this gets done, it might only be 30 minutes for the day.

Let kids be bored because it’s the best thing for them.

Even if kids are complaining that they are bored and have nothing to do, don’t try to figure things out for them to do, instead let them get creative with their so called boredom.

You don’t have to give them an endless supply of activities to do and you don’t have to entertain them every minute of the day.

Send them outside to ride bikes, to play outside, load them up with chalk or fill a bucket with water and see what they come up with.
Turn on the sprinklers or let them bake or make homemade popsicles.

What you must be consistent about is not giving in and staying strong when the complaining and whining starts.
Say no screens or no devices even when they beg you for them during these moments of “boredom”.

Be a role model.

When children are around, set an example by using media the way you want them to use it.
Keep mobile devices away from the dinner table, turn the TV off when it’s not being watched, and prioritize time with your children where there are no screens in sight!

Praise your child.

If your child manages to end screen time without throwing a tantrum, show that you are pleased with him.
Say something like, “Thank you for turning off the tablet and sitting down for dinner!”

Kids will be more likely to follow through again when they end their activity with a positive experience.

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