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John Roman

10 Ways to Reduce Screen Time

10 Ways to Reduce Screen Time

Too much screen time is one of the major reasons behind several health issues we face today, especially in kids. However, we seem to have normalized it daily because of our work and personal habits. The worst part is that the situation is even more alarming for the coming generations because kids these days get much more exposure to screens right from the beginning of their life. 

Top 10 ways you can reduce your screen time in your home

You can do many things to reduce your screen time for you and your children and here are our top 9 ways:

1. Track your kids screen time and set your limits strategically

The first way to reduce your kids screen time is by knowing how much time they spend in front of screens on average. For most kids, their tablets and TV is the culprit. The good part here is that most tablets provide information about their usage routine.

You can see how much they use their device and get data about individual app usage. You'll likely be Shocked with how much time they spend glued to that screen! So, see which apps are taking up most of their time and set usage time limits to restrict them from overusing them. 

2. Keep their tablets out of the bedroom and bathroom

Just think about your smartphone usage for a moment and you'll likely note that you use it most of the time when you're in your bedroom or bathroom. Now, think about how this habit may extend to the rest of your family. Your kids are learning that all basic and mundane activities can be made more exciting with a screen. Most of the time, our phones keep our minds busy and we forget about completing the business in the toilet and moving on.

As a result, kids may end up spending a lot of time on the toilets with their electronic devices and less time doing things like playing outdoors or learning new things.

Similarly, if you use your smartphone as your alarm clock, you'll probably use it right before you sleep. Maybe an extreme case, but your kids may take this as the O-K to play on their tablets all hours of the night. Getting a good night sleep is vital to a growing mind, much like getting exercise and Vitamin D! It's best to keep those tablets out of the room at night to encourage healthy sleeping habits. 

3. Schedule your screen-free time and locations

We all have schedules in our lives but have you ever heard about screen-free scheduling? Yes, you read that right!

See when you and your kids spend the most time in front of your screens and make it necessary for your whole family to only use the screen for a specific time. Do all your work, watch your morning cartoons, social media scrolling, and all else during that time. During the hours you cut out, try to get outside more and teach your kids that there are other ways to have fun! Learning about the great outdoors and all that nature has to offer may get your kids itching to power off those tablets in the future.

4. Spare your weekends for adventure

Today, most of us plan our weekends around the screen and this could be negatively effecting your children's productivity and creative minds. A common practice is to binge-watch a season while your kids play digital games. Well it's time to shut everything down!

Try to make sure you plan your weekends specifically for new adventures. Even if that just means cooking out in the backyard while the kids make mud-pies and catch fireflies or play catch together. The mere fact of spending time outdoors together is a win!

5. See which apps are not beneficial and uninstall them or switch off their notifications

Everyone has several apps on their devices, some of which are useful while others are just wasting time. Look for the apps that are completely useless and they only waste your time and uninstall them. Decluttering your kids tablets of games that are mind-numbers or have only been played once or twice will remove the temptation to spend even more time in front of the screen. Save maybe 5 to 7 apps that are favorites for down time and then use the time you save to find new and creative activities off-screen.

6. Make books your best friends

Books bring several benefits like support cognitive development, improve language skills, increased concentration and self-discipline, and so much more! Plus, it's important to remember that books used to be the Google for the past generations. So, whenever you want to find something fun for you and your kids to do, an easy outlet is to look for a book you can read with them.

For spending your leisure time, you can even pack a picnic, go out to the park, and read in the beautiful sunshine. Focusing more on books will help you significantly reduce your family's screen time together.

Looking for a place to start? Here's a list of 101 best books for kids of all ages.

7. Live the precious moments in your life rather than capturing them all the time

Today, it's a common practice to take out our smartphones, tablets, and cameras during any event.. Instead of living in the moment, we often focus on capturing it. There's obviously nothing wrong with taking a few pictures, but taking hundreds of pictures of everything you see isn't the purpose.

It's incredibly important to teach your kids to stay engaged in the moment or activity at hand—focus on enjoying the activity together. And the memory itself will have a longer lasting effect than any photograph!

8. Look for healthier hobbies

Screens are associated with most of our kids hobbies today. They usually have hobbies like:

  • Watching their favorite shows and movies
  • Watching YouTube videos
  • Playing online and offline video games

It's important to switch up their hobbies and help them to start building healthier ones. There's a whole world to explore, yet they would rather choose to watch things on a screen simply because digital devices are obviously so much more stimulating at first glance when they simply don't know any different. 

Playing sports, outdoor games and crafts, learn a survival skill, learn about the different insects and animals in your area, play catch or frisbee with friends in the neighborhood... these are all easy hobbies and activities to start with.

10. Always think twice when you hand your kids their tablets

I'm sure we can all confidently say that we've picked up our phones to do something before and we did everything except accomplish that task! And then when you go back to your phone, you suddenly remembered that one task and got back on your phone.

Well this cycle can continue with kids! If you're going to give them their tablets to play on, make sure you have counted out every other fun activity you can think of first.

Is it a nice day? Maybe take them in the yard to play games.

Is it a rainy day? Pull out the crafts supplies and create some art for their rooms or the fridge!

Overall, we should just try to be more mindful of the habits we're allowing our kids to form. If we enable them to solve all of their boredom with mobile games or TV shows, then we're inhibiting them from so many amazing things life has to offer.

Final Verdict:

Are you also worried about how your family spends most of the day unintentionally in front of a screen? Well, you're not the only person going through this issue. The good news is that you can still get on the right track!

Try out some of our suggestions listed below! We'd love to hear what works/doesn't work and any other feedback you'd like to share!

Image by natureaddict from Pixabay 

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