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The Brightside: Managing Kids And Screen Time

The Brightside: Managing Kids And Screen Time
The Brightside: Managing kids and screen time.

We have all seen and dealt with the melt downs. Managing kids and screen time is a reality of parenting in the digital age. While screen time can have educational and entertainment benefits, excessive and unregulated use can have many negative effects on children, especially younger kids. 

Spending too much time on screens can limit face-to-face social interactions, which are crucial for the development of social skills and emotional intelligence. It can disrupt sleep patterns, effect their ability to focus, reduce their physical activity, not to mention the risk of addiction due to the dopamine hits provided highly engaging apps and programs. 

We are here to help you navigate the storm and avoid those end of screen time melt downs. 

Here are five simple tips you can implement in your home to help establish healthy screen time habits for children:

1. Set Clear Limits:

Establish clear and consistent rules regarding screen time. For example, TV might only be allowed in the evenings after dinner for one hour. It may be easier to limit your child's access to multiple devices (TV, computer, tablet, phone) to make it easier to keep track of usage. Ensure everyone in the family understands and follows the rules.

Here are the general guidelines for screen use based on age:

- For children aged 2-5 years of age - no more than one hour per day.

- For children aged 5-17 years, limit sedentary recreational screen time to no more than two hours per day.

2. Lead by Example:

Demonstrate healthy screen habits by modelling responsible device use. Put your phone away when in the presence of your children so you can all have quality family time. For example, dinner conversations provide children with opportunities to express themselves, share their thoughts, and articulate their ideas. When parents show moderation in their own screen time, children are more likely to adopt similar habits, which also allows the family time to converse and bond together.

3. Designate Screen-Free Zones:

Establish specific areas in the house, such as bedrooms or the dinner table, where screens are not allowed. This helps create boundaries and encourages face-to-face communication. Get in the routine of story time before bed rather than screen time. The benefits include a moment to bond, a chance to wind down, and increased creativity and literacy skills.

4. Educate on Content:

Teach children about appropriate and educational content suitable to their age. Encourage the use of screens for learning and creativity, and discuss the importance of avoiding inappropriate or excessive content. Be wary of platforms like Youtube, where children are at risk of being exposed to inappropriate content. Keep an eye on the content your child is consuming. Regularly review games, apps, and shows they are interested in to ensure they align with your family values.

5. Encourage Outdoor Activities:

Promote physical activities and outdoor play. Encourage sports, hobbies, and other activities that do not involve screens, fostering a balanced and active lifestyle. Spending time away from screens provides opportunities for outdoor exploration and a connection with nature, promoting a sense of environmental awareness and appreciation, among many other benefits.

Shop Banabae for outdoor play:

Rad Kid Classic Ringer Organic Cotton Tee
Rad Kid Washed Baseball Cap - Desert Sand
Park Hangs Organic Cotton Tee - Kids AUD $49.00
Babyccino Splice Rib Twinset

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