In the present time scenario, every child has access to at least one electronic device. With lockdowns and online schooling, screen time has further increased. Unregulated usage of screen time can have adverse effects:
- Lack of sleep.
- Poor academic performance
- Eye problems like myopia
- Behavioural issues
Parents nowadays have an additional responsibility in controlling and limiting the usage.
How to limit screen time?
- Schedule screen time
Create a strict schedule to regulate screen usage. Take into consideration the child’s needs and also ask them for their inputs. Ask them why they should be allowed any extra time for screen usage and if their reply satisfies you, agree to their demand.
Creating a strict schedule to regulate screen usage and being very firm with the child can help develop discipline. There should also be enough consideration as to when or for what they are needing it.
- Set technology-free areas at home
Assign areas in the house where no one is allowed to use digital devices. It can be in areas where families spend time together, say in the living room or in the dining area, encouraging personal interaction at that time.
- Be role models
Parents have to be role models who teach the children responsible use of screen time through their actions. Practise what we preach. Never do anything that you have asked the children not to do.
- Use parental control
There are many parental control apps and software to limit children’s screen time. These can also control what sort of content children can access online. It is a great way to effectively control screen time and also protect children from unwanted content online.
- Encourage hobbies and playtime
One way to decrease the use of screens by children is to encourage them to indulge in hobbies and activities that don’t require digital devices. Find out what the children are interested in and provide them with the things necessary for it. Allow the children to go out with friends and play.
- Family activities
It can be a good bonding experience and also help reduce screen time for the whole family. Plan picnics and family trips. It can also be simple board games and indoor activities. The main thing is to have fun together as a family.
- Review and adapt
Regularly review the plans and see where you are doing well and what has been going wrong. Adapt the plans and schedules based on that. Change things wherever necessary.
- Make productive use of Screen time
Children can be enrolled in online classes that will help build their skillset and complement their school learning experience. For example, taking up an online abacus class is a lot of fun and helps children improve their interest in Maths, boost their self-confidence, enhance their memory power, and so on. Check out our website to know more about the abacus training program we offer children of different age groups.
Sharmila Suresh is the Program Director and an Abacus instructor for over 3 years. Her philosophy is to create an environment that fosters the importance of learning and a strong work ethic. She is very passionate and teaches from the heart while allowing students to discover their abilities and mould them into confident individuals.