Screen time for kids is the term that describes the duration of the kids looking at the screen. Kids spend most of their time on screens such as watching television, playing video games, using smartphones, tablets, and so on. There are numerous purposes for using screens like assignments, entertainment, and social interactions. In today’s world, it has become quite difficult to reduce the screen time of kids, however, we can control it to some extent.
Instead of putting a complete restriction, parents should distract their kids so that they don’t feel more curious about screens.
Why is it important to limit screen time?
Less physical activity
Kids who are always busy on screen media are more prone to health issues. As they take no part in physical activities and hence spend most of their time while sitting in front of television and phones. As a resultant, their weight increases drastically and there is a major risk of diseases. Also, the advertisements of unhealthy food items going on the television encourage them to adopt bad food habits.
Children use their mobile phones at night at excess which results in reducing their sleep. It also impacts the quality of sleep. They tend to get more disturbed at night. It directly has an effect on their jr behavior and mood swings.
Skills of communication
Isolation is a part and parcel of spending excessive time on screens. Children usually know how to chat online but their face to face communication becomes weak. Moreover, these gadgets snatch from the kids outdoor gaming and spending time with friends.
The Internet is full of shows that represent aggression and hurtful behavior. Therefore, kids observe all this and adopt mean behavior as it becomes normal for them. The Internet plays a major role in spreading wrong messages and foul language. And kids at an early age get exposure to the harmful things.
Strain and body
While using mobile or sitting for a long time in front of the television the body position remains the same. Therefore, at a very young age, kids get pain their back and neck. So, the position of the television should be according to the neck of the kid.
As per the studies, screens have a bad impact on the eyes of the kids. If the children play outdoor games they are more likely to have healthy eyesight. But the kids who gaze at the phones or television for longer are less likely to blink. It results in their eyes becoming dry and hence getting short-sightedness.
Few positives related to screens
Although, it is bad for the health of kids but it also helps them to have a better time if they are ill. As it works as a good distraction.
Social media platforms are good for expressing the feelings sometimes. The kids who are introverted or shy can easily open up with the help of these platforms.
The video calls are sometimes the only medium to stay connected with the family. Thus, it is useful for kids to talk to their far situated grandparents on a daily basis.
You can also read: Pros & Cons of Effect Of Mobile On Child
How to distract kids from screen media?
It is a need of the hour to distract the kids from using phones, tablets, or laptops excessively. Here are a few tips that will help you for the same.
Increase time for outdoor activities
It is the best technique to decrease the time for screens. More they spend time on outdoor games, more will they get tired and sleep better. In this way, they will get less time to spend on gadgets. Moreover, outdoor games improve their health and make them more fit. But do not forget to watch them from a distance.
Handing over a task
Handing over an important task to the kids excites them as they feel responsible. The task can be like drawing their father’s picture or a fort they want to live in. It will definitely interest them and they will happily spend more time creating pictures.
Help a family member
You can also encourage them to help a family member. For instance, tell them to help the grandmother in any simple task. It will also rise a feeling of helping others in them and spending time with the family.
It is definitely the most exciting game for the kids. For starting scavenger hunt, you have to prepare some clues related to the game and then hide them somewhere in the house. Start the game by reading a hint to them for finding something. Also, every clue with following the other one, and the last one will hint at the location of the final object. This game can keep them busy for hours.
Taking help in chores
Taking help from children in age-appropriate chores is no offense. It will make them sensible and develop a sense of responsibility in them. You can ask them to help you with flawless cooking. In this way, you will get a chance to spend more time with them.
Unique and creative toys often attract kids. So, let them play with some puzzles or legos. These are time-consuming and also help in building the reasoning power of the kids. You can also try by giving them a key and a lock. They will keep on trying to put the key in the lock and will really enjoy it. However, some kids also like kitchen utensils. So you must try giving your kid a bowl and a number of things from the kitchen to mix in the bowl. It will engage them for hours.
These were some of the tricks to distract your kid from the screens. In the case of elder kids, having a talk to them can really work. You should talk to your child about the inappropriate content on the internet and make them aware of its harm to them. Do not force your decision on them, make them choose the path by guiding them throughout.