The internet has proved to be a blessing during the time of this Pandemic. When we were under strict lockdown it was the internet that allowed us to continue not only our education but also ordering groceries, medicines, and many more useful things. Internet and our smart devices have made life a little less difficult during this pandemic. With the shift of classes from offline to online mode, parents have become more conscious of their children’s screen time.
Before the pandemic, it was used just for entertainment purposes. But now it has become an important source of knowledge and awareness. People look for news and updates about the situation, students use to access the internet to find notes as well as study materials that are readily available on the internet. Students attend online classes too.
According to reports, there has been an increase in usage of about 50-70 % of screen time. In such cases, it is liable for parents to show concern regarding their child’s physical and mental health. We all know sitting in front of the screen for prolonged hours can cause serious health issues. Children can become addicted to the internet because of its availability.
6 Best Tips to Manage and Control your Child’s Screen time
In such cases how will you as a parent balance your child’s screen time? Here are certain ways through which you can manage and control your child’s screen time to make it a healthy lifestyle and a healthy childhood
1. Requirement of Rules
Every household has at least two to three smart devices and uninterrupted internet service this makes the availability of information, and entertainment easy. In such cases, it becomes vital for parents to set rules for their children as to how long will they be allowed to use mobile phones apart from attending online classes.
As a parent, you can also restrict them from using phones during a particular hour of the day and night. The rules should be strictly followed. Try and communicate these to your child in a positive manner so that they can understand the reason behind your decisions. Also Read
2. Avoid Prolonged hours of Screen Time
Do not deprive your child of any sort of educational videos or informative news. To do this make sure you avoid prolonged hours of screen time. Make a fixed timetable for screen time in such a way that it is not more than forty minutes for kids aged 6-12, and not more than an hour for 12 and above. Prolonged screen time has harmful effects on their mental health and affects their sleep cycle.
The screen time should be measured with appropriate intervals in between these sessions. Keep a check on your child as much as you can. Breaks will help them to interact with members of the family and come back to reality.
3. Encourage Socialising and Making Friends
Covid- 19 may have restricted us from going outside and performing outdoor activities, but it is always advisable to continue making interactions with people around. As a parent, you can encourage your child to put the mobile phone aside and take a walk in the park. This however should be done following the covid protocols.
You can take them out to play under your supervision. This activity may enhance your child’s mental as well as physical health. Children are usually hyperactive and if they get a chance they will surely enjoy playing in the park, meeting old friends and making new ones. If your child is a teenager you can take him along to grocery shopping. Grocery shopping can be a fun activity after which your child may be satisfied. It can be a source of accomplishment too.
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4. Add Creativity in your Daily Activities
Children are perceptive towards colours, music and creativity. Try and add creativity to their daily activities. Make them do small chores such as ‘peeling a boiled egg’ which is a very good exercise to increase their level of concentration along with patience. Instead of making them watch stories and videos try and narrate them by yourself.
You can use a colourful book to help them create things and use their imagination. Make your child do activities that help them develop their creativity. Create false problems for your child and motivate them to find a solution. This will keep them engaged as well as away from smart devices.
5. Say No to Phones Before Bed
It is necessary to keep smart devices out of the bedroom at night. Screen time just before going to bed may affect your child’s sleep cycle. The use of smartphones in bed may cause poor sleep. To prioritize your child’s mental health, you mustn’t allow them to use screens before bed. An uninterrupted 8-10 hour sleep is vital for their overall development and well-being
6. Follow The Above Tips
Children tend to imitate their parents. They usually pick up habits that they see in their parents. If you want your child to lead a healthy lifestyle you need to follow the same rules along with your child. The rules shouldn’t only be for children and students. Apart from work, try and make minimal use of screens and interact with your children.
Find ways to make life creative for your child as well as for yourself. Avoid using phones before going to bed and prioritize your mental health. A healthy parent will make a healthy child.
These are a few tips through which you can balance your child’s screen time. Screen time is necessary for students in today’s time but it will be your responsibility to not turn it into a ‘necessary evil’. Validate that your child is not using the internet excessively which may lead to cyberbullying. Keep them under your supervision while accessing the internet and if you find any other way to balance the screen timing of your child do share your thoughts.
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