Have you seen your kid spending too much time on his/her mobile phone? Did you catch them watching a horror movie on the TV and lost their sleep at night? Did you see them watch an addictive TV show and cried along with one of the characters?
If yes, then it proves screens have a huge impact on your kid’s life. Adults are also impacted by screens but the impact is much stronger on kids and teens. Due to a busy life, most parents resort to electronic devices to engage their kids not realizing the impact of technology on their kids.
When kids spend long hours in front of their screens, they become addicted. Later, it becomes a problem for parents to get their kids off digital devices and the internet. They can be worried about the harmful things their kids may come across online. This might cause them to use spy phone apps for their kids to monitor their online activity and ensure they are safe on the internet.
But, is this then only possible solution? To monitor their online activity while ensuring they are protected from harmful dangers all the time? Well, we don’t think so. While we do not discourage you from using parental control apps, you should also be taking some steps to limit your kid’s screen time.
What is Screen Addiction?
Before you can make your kid spend less time on the internet, firstly, as parents, you need to fully understand what screen addiction is.
Screen addiction is when your kid spends too much time on their mobile phone or any other electronic gadget. They become completely lost in their device and end up believing that they can only be happy when they spend time in front of their screens.
Whenever they find the time, they want to go back to their screen and spend time on it. It’s a like drug to which kids become addicted. Screen addiction can just be drug addiction. When kids become addicted to their screens, they can tend to ignore their families and friends and become isolated.
Screen addiction can also cause several health problems such as lack of sleep, poor posture, poor eyesight, etc. What’s more, kids can lose concentration on their studies, ignore their friends and other physical activities, and want to spend time alone with their screens. This loneliness can induce feelings of anxiety and depression in them.
How to Limit Screen Time for Your Kids
Here are a few tried and tested methods that you can use to limit screen time for your kids:
Set an Example for Your Kids
Parents need to set an example for their kids. To become a good digital role model for your kids, you need to stop using too much cell phone in front of them. Kids tend to imitate their parents and will do everything their parents are doing. If you read a book in front of your kids, they will be more likely to read. The same goes for using cell phones.
Become a Good Parent
You need to be a good parent for your kids. It is your responsibility to encourage healthy activities and behaviors and prevent unhealthy ones such as spending too much time on their digital devices. You need to explain to your kids about the dangerous effects of spending too much time on screens and how it can impact their lives.
Set Time Limits on their Devices
It might not be possible to take away cell phones from your kids entirely or switch off the internet at home. It’s better if you set time limits on your kid’s mobile phone use. You can set limited viewing times for your kids so they can only watch TV or use their phones during limited hours. You can set time rules for them and make sure they follow. This will help your kids not develop screen addiction.
Encourage Physical Activities
It’s important to encourage physical activities among your kids. If your kids are occupied with other physical activities such as playing indoor/outdoor games, reading books, or helping out parents with house chores, they will tend to spend less time on their mobile phones and other digital devices.
Spend Time with Your Kids
When you spend time with your kids, play with them, and be involved in their lives, you can help them cut their screen addiction. Parents need to act like kids when they are playing with their kids. When you are planning to spend quality time with your kids, make sure using cell phones or watching TV is not a part of your plan. You could gather go out for a picnic or play some sport with them.
Observe Your Kid’s Behavior
There is no doubt that screens have an immediate impact on your kid’s behavior. When kids spend too much time before their screens, they may get aggressive, irritable, impatient, and selfish. You can take a look at your kid and notice there is something wrong with your kid’s behavior. That is the moment you know there is something wrong and you need to start observing their routine closely.
No Use of Devices in their Rooms
Never allow your kids to use cell phones or any other electronic device in their room. In fact, make sure that they use their devices in front of you or in a central room where you can keep an eye on their activity all the time. Do not allow them to take their cell phones in their room at night.
Use Parental Control Apps
Last but not least, you can use parental control or mobile spy apps to limit screen time for your kids. There are some monitoring and parental control apps that let you put limits on your kid’s screen time. You can set a time schedule for your kids and also decide how many hours they can spend on their phone and each app.
It is true that limiting your kid’s screen time may seem like a challenging job but it’s worth doing. By following a few methods, you can help your kid not develop screen addiction. With the right parental control tools and a few tried and tested tips, you can keep your kid safe from harmful online dangers and other physical problems.