As a mom of four school-aged kids between the ages of seven and thirteen, navigating and regulating screen time consumption at four different levels requires NASA-grade determination and persistence, to say the least. Between the oldest who’d like to play 24 hours a day of XBox Live, to the youngest who’d like to watch SpongeBob from the moment she gets home from school until I pull the remote from her death grip, let’s just say screen time is not my favorite thing to police. I know I’m not alone.
Between the TVs, Kindles, iPhones, gaming systems, laptops, and whatever else you have around the house, parents have a hard task in front of them to reduce screen time down to two hours or less per day as suggested by most medical professionals. When you also add in the fact that most schools have kids using Chrome books in class or visiting the computer lab daily or weekly, plus requiring math games sites such as XtraMath, parents need to be on top of things and work hard to not “over screen” their kids. It’s a big pain in the butt, despite all the advantages technology affords.
I definitely could use some tips to reduce my kids’ screen time. Here are 8 tips:
- Reduce screen time gradually
- Help them find a hobby
- Get outside and exercise
- Play non-computer based games
- Watch your own screen habits
- Store electronics out of sight
- Be consistent
- Get commitment from the wider family
Lauren Hunter is an entrepreneur, FREELANCE WRITER, and founder of CHURCHTECHTODAY, where she encourages churches to better use technology to improve every aspect of ministry. She’s also a wife to a pretty awesome coach, mom of four great kids, worship leader, and poet.