10 Ideas for a Family Fresh Start: Reduce Screen Time Pt. 1

If you’re a parent with kids living in the digital world, there’s a good chance you’ve thought long and hard about screen time. You may have even resolved in the new year to create healthier screen time habits for your whole family. If you want to reduce screen time for your kids in 2020, the following tips can help. These guidelines can help set your kids up for a healthy, happy, screen-free new year.

 

Tips 1 – 5

(out of 10, see part 2 on Tuesday for 6 – 10)

 

1. Set Hard Limits

Experts say that kids should never have more than 1.5 hours of screen time per day on school days. Make a screen time limit that is less than this, and always stick to it. Kids will start to use their imagination and come up with ideas about how to spend their time on their own once they’re used to having a regular amount of free hours without screens.

 

 

2. Use Screen Time as a Reward

Allow your kids to watch their screens only if they have completed a list of required tasks. Homework should be finished and chores done before they can have their screens. In the new year, you can make screens feel special, rare, and prized, rather than a normal part of the daily routine.

 

3. Give Your Kids Some Say

Instead of completely dictating when your kids can use screens, allow them to have some say in the matter. This will make them feel like they have some agency, and not like your decision is a punishment. You can choose how much screen time they are allowed, but then offer them some options about it. Do they want to watch before dinner or after dinner? Do they want to have screen time on the weekends or weekdays? This is a good way to help kids get on board with the idea of limited screen time.

 

4. Plan More Activities

Image by Aline Ponce from Pixabay

During your kids’ downtime, take some time to plan some activities. It’s easy for your kids (or you) to default to screen time when there are no other ideas about what to do.

Schedule outdoor playtime (leave the screens at home) or schedule playdates with friends so your kids will be occupied. You can also check out this list of screen-free activities for some inspiration.

 

 

 

5. Be the Model

Kids are likely to model parents’ behavior. So, if you want to limit screen time for your kids, make sure you limit your own. Try to spend time at home reading, doing puzzles, interacting with other family members, or doing other activities that don’t involve electronics.

 

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

 

 

If you want more ideas for ways you can help to improve your child’s cognitive development and improve attention and focus, reach out to Brain Balance Achievement Centers. Our experts can help pinpoint where your child struggles, then offer tips and techniques to help them improve. We can also give ideas for alternatives to screen time tailored to your child, so your entire family can enjoy a stress-free and screen-free new year.

For over a decade, we’ve helped over 40,000 children improve the critical skills needed to create a brighter path for their future. Our team can help determine why your child struggles, then help equip them to better handle their own challenges, so they can enjoy and thrive in family gatherings, classrooms, social events, and more.

 

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One thought on “10 Ideas for a Family Fresh Start: Reduce Screen Time Pt. 1

  1. Wayne Coolidge Jr. says:

    This article is excellently timed. I urge everyone, especially parents, to take these recommendations to heart and follow-up and read part 2 of this article. We’ve known of the physical and behavioral health implications of smart phone addiction (SPA), at-least anecdotally, for some time. The results of a just released multimodal MRI study investigated brain volume and intrinsic neural activity in individuals with SPA. The article, “Structural and functional correlates of smartphone addiction” presents evidence of physical, (diminished gray matter etc.) and deficits in neural function associated with smart phone use. The neurotransmitter dopamine is released in the brains of those addicted similarly to its release in response to drug taking . The article is available at the following address. Excessive smart phone use/addiction is potentially a looming public health disaster. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306460319313802

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