Did you know, experts say children under three should have no screen time? None. While that may not be realistic, the reason is that even educational programs have been shown to limit, not develop, young children.
For the older children, a limited amount of screen time is okay. Though research is saying that all children are partaking in too much, they’re overstimulated, lack self-regulation, more aggressive, etc.
How to tell if your kids need a break from TV
Your kids ask for it at times we normally don’t watch TV.
They get agitated when you ask them to turn off the TV or iPad.
There is an increase in sibling rivalry and acts of aggression.
When they overreacts to you answering, “No” to screen time.
When your child gets a bit obsessive over shows and pays no attention when we speak to him/her.
Although it is easier to give in and let the kids watch their favourite shows there are lots of options for keeping them occupied tech-free. Below is a list of activities, both indoors and outside, to help you cut down on your child’s tech time.
Play a board game, or play all the board games
Do some baking or cooking
Create a Lego city
Arts and crafts
Build a fort
Play with cardboard boxes
Teach your kids a new card game
Dig out the playdough toys, make some playdough, and have fun
Go for a walk
Go skating, rollerblading or biking
Garden – if the time of the year is right
Go on a scavenger hunt
Take a Long Break from it
Sometimes we all need to take an extended break from technology. While it may not always be possible for parents, limiting when you use it around your kids can help. Perhaps decide on a time frame, such as a week, to be TV free.
You just might find that at the end of your allotted time that your kids, and yourself, may be more inclined to not watch TV as much but instead turn to all the fun that you had been having without. I don’t think kids need to be screen free all the time, because there are some really great things for them out there now, just remember how great things can be without screen time.
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Parent Life Network or their partners.