Smart Ways to Reduce Your Child's Screen Time
Posted by Strategic Communications, JGI Group on 10 July 2023

Effective Strategies to Reduce Your Child's Screen Time and Promote Healthy Habits - JHS

Did you know that around 75% of children aged 8 to 13 in urban India have access to or own a mobile phone?

Moreover, a study published by Child Rights and You (CRY) in 2020 reported that mobile phone usage among children in India had increased significantly. This is because of the rising shift to online education after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the entire world. This study brings us to one thing, i.e., the screen time for your child using mobile phones has also significantly increased over the past few years.

Besides the sudden shift to remote learning approaches, children are using mobile phones for entertainment purposes, including watching videos, movies, cartoons, and playing games. Platforms like YouTube, streaming services, and mobile gaming apps are popular among children for entertainment and recreation. Young teenagers are also using mobile phones to use social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to connect with friends, share content, and communicate with others.

However, as a parent, have you ever wondered about the side effects of exposing your child to prolonged screen time?

- Excessive screen time can lead to a sedentary lifestyle, contributing to obesity and related health issues.

- Prolonged screen use before bedtime can disrupt sleep patterns and lead to poor posture, strained eyes, and musculoskeletal problems.

- Excessive screen time for children can limit their face-to-face interactions, impairing the development of social skills. It may also negatively impact cognitive development, attention span, and academic performance.

- Unmonitored screen time can expose children to inappropriate content, cyberbullying, and online harassment, causing emotional distress.

- While screens have become a part of our lifestyle, there are smart ways in which we can reduce screen time for your child. Let’s discuss how.

Set Screen Time Limits

You must enforce strictness in establishing clear and consistent rules for setting screen time limits. By establishing firm communication and setting strict parental controls on screen management, you will be able to reduce the screen time of your child to a great extent.

Encourage Alternative Activities or Hobbies

One of the most effective ways to reduce exposure to screens is to engage in other offline activities. This will help you divert your child's interest and attention to a different channel. You can do this by encouraging your child to engage in hobbies such as outdoor games or exploring nature. Another way is to offer indoor activities like reading books, solving puzzles, building blocks, engaging in arts and crafts, or playing board games.

Become the Much-Needed Role Model

Education starts at home. Children learn the most from you. Therefore, the kind of behaviour you exhibit at home will be instantly picked up by your children. So, you must limit your own device usage and demonstrate a healthy practice for your child to follow. When you engage yourself in offline activities like reading a book or pursuing your hobbies, it is highly likely that your child will be influenced by your habits and practise them themselves.

Create Screen-Free Zones and Time

Setting up specific areas in your home as screen-free zones can be a smart way to deal with excessive screen time issues. You can do this by designating certain areas of your home, such as your bedroom, as a technology-free space to promote better sleep and relaxation. Besides this, you can also restrict the use of screens during mealtime at the dining table. This will encourage family members to interact and have meaningful conversations during meals.

Prioritise Family Interactions

Lack of family interaction can often drive your children to boredom and a sense of belonging. It can sometimes push your child to engage in other alternatives, such as using mobile phones to talk to other people or watching videos or playing virtual games. However, if you prioritise family interactions, such as planning outings to museums or parks, you can create a strong family bond and lasting memories. By prioritising family time, you can reduce the reliance on screens for entertainment.

Way Forward

While in this era, preventing access to screens is inevitable, you can definitely take smart measures to reduce your exposure to prolonged screen time. You can clear rules and boundaries, utilise parental control settings, and create screen-free zones and times for your child. By establishing consistent guidelines and promoting offline engagements and hobbies, you can foster a balanced lifestyle and reduce your child's screen time effectively. It is essential to remember that being a positive role model can influence your child significantly and develop healthier habits, promote engagement in diverse activities, and reduce their exposure to excessive screen time.


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