The battle of screen time is a tough one. We are all connected to our devices if we like it our not, and even the best laid plan to limit screen time can still fall apart. We know that too much screen time can have negative effects on children's development, and the American Academy of Pediatrics has set strong guidelines for screen time use with little ones, so how can you get through your normal day as a parent and stay true to these guidelines? Below are some tips to reduce the amount of screen time in your home!
Lead by example. We might as well get the toughest one out of the way. As we always tell the families we work with, you are, and will always be, one of the best teachers to your child, and because of this, children will gravitate toward the behaviors modeled by their parents. If they see you reading a book, they are more likely to read. And if they see you on your phone, they'll want to be on it as well!
Set viewing times and rules. In a past post we wrote about creating a Family Media Plan. Our mindset is, if you are not going to turn off the screen time completely off, choose times, set rules, and stick to them. Once rules are set, and followed, the rest gets easier.
Find alternatives and play. Find what interests your child and jump head first into those activities. Play a game of ball, collect books at the library, create arts and crafts. Help your child explore outside of the screen, they'll thank you for it later :).
Limiting your child’s screen time may seem like an impossible battle, but once you've laid the groundwork it will get easier. It's a fight worth fighting.