Life Before Smartphones: How To Balance Your Kids’ Screen Time
Ever since smartphones have been released into the market, smartphone addiction has run rampant all around the world. It affected not only adults but also kids as young as two years old. Oftentimes, addiction leads to serious things like sleep deprivation, depression, and other mental health issues. And so, many parents try to bring their kids back to the life before smartphones and let them enjoy more beyond the app playtime. However, it is also undeniable that smartphones are also useful in terms of children’s learning. This is why a good balance between your kids and digital devices should be strictly maintained. Here are a few tips on how to balance your kids screen time.
Know the Risks of Overexposure to Phones
There is a wide variety of risks that are associated with smartphone use. It usually affects the mental health the most, and that’s why it is important to get to know them. Effects on children may include:
- Decreased Sleep. Aside from the occasional alarms, smartphones emit something called blue light, which is a type of light that the brain interprets as daylight. This light can stimulate the brain and makes it hard to fall asleep.
- Attention Deficit Disorder. Research suggests that excessive exposure or screen time can lead to ADHD.
- Childhood Obesity. The use of smartphones often promote a sedentary lifestyle. The lack of activity causes children to suffer from obesity, even at a young age.
Set Rules and Limitations
Rules and limitations are necessary to maintain a balance between your child and their gadgets. This will help your child get into the habit of well-balanced screen time. Recommended rules and limitations include the following:
- Experts suggest no screens for at least one hour before bedtime
- Consider “phone-free” meals or family times to promote communication and relationship building.
- No phones or tablets in the bedroom at night. If you use your phone as an alarm clock, buy an actual alarm clock.
- Limit device time to less than two hours of leisure time a day.
Consider Using Parental Control Apps
One way to beat technology is also by using technology. Nowadays, applications can also be used to monitor your children’s devices. It also allows parents to manage what their kids find on search engines and can set allowable screen time limits. This will help both parents and children to maintain healthy usage and screen time.
Be A Role Model
Rules and limitations do not only apply to children but also to yourself. You need to set a good example for children to follow or else setting rules will be pointless. Make it a habit to check and evaluate not only your children but also yourself.
Nurture Other Interests to Cater to Life before Smartphones Fun
A child is intrinsically antsy by nature and requires attention, attachment, and responsive relationships to help them navigate abrupt shifts in mood. Aside from virtual interactive learning, it is also important for children to engage in structured activities like learning music, sports, painting, and other hobbies. This will help them take some time off their smartphones and also help them develop real interactions and reduce stress through exercise.
There is no absolute good or bad when it comes to smartphones. Children’s behavior towards smartphones usually depends on how parents develop their perspective. And for that reason, bringing back the life before smartphones can do your children a whole lot of good. That is why constant involvement and smart parenting is always advised because too much of anything is always dangerous.
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