Parents have become busier and more involved than ever before. There’s no easy, fool-proof way to keep children from turning into screen zombies while mom and dad cope with the myriad of challenges that modern life throws at them; it can be very tempting to just let the kids stare at a screen until their brains turn to mush, instead of trying to engage with them or discipline them. Is the only alternative to completely ban screen time altogether, like you would alcohol, drugs, and nicotine? Not necessarily. Here are some tips from child guidance experts.
First and foremost, set the example.
If you have to spend a lot of time online for work, make sure this is explained to the kids from the get-go. Then make sure that you are using social media/playing games/etc online in a structured, disciplined manner. Give yourself a time limit, and stick to it. That way, when you talk to your children about doing the same thing they can’t complain about your own bad screen time habits.
Then commit to spending more time with your kids — away from the screen.
Doesn’t matter what you decide to do — take a walk, ride bikes together, go out for a burger, or to a movie, or playing table tennis. The best way to break a child’s addiction to screen time is to replace it with YOUR time.