How & Why To Effectively Manage Screen Time For Your Child

11 December 2020
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Online classes mean too much screen time! But your child still wants to play a video game after school? Introduce them to edutainment or set a cut-off time. Here's how you can manage screen time in your child's life.

Set A Cut-Off Time

E-learning or online classrooms as we all know are the “new normal”. This only means that your child is spending their entire school day in front of a machine. And as important as technology is, too much exposure to the screen can also be very daunting and harmful. At the same time, because of severe restrictions on children being allowed to go out and play with groups of friends, for most of them, online games are a stress-buster. In order to make sure your child gets their “gaming time” post school hours, ensure you’ve got a cut-off time in place. Start with explaining to the children why you’re taking these measures. Tell them the cons of excessive screen time in a language they understand. Alternatively, you could also assign “binge days” to them. If they spend their weekdays in online classrooms, make weekends about binging on video games or watching shows and movies they love. This way they will focus on e-learning through the week and look forward to their “me time” over the weekend.

Use Parental Control Apps

As parents in 2020 you’ve got to understand one thing- your children are fast and quick learners and they can outsmart you when it comes to technology. So make sure you’re two steps ahead at all times. There are several parental control apps that allow you to filter content on web browsers and on smartphones. Through these apps you can restrict certain pages and keywords and be in control of what your kids are exposed to. Similarly, you could also download tracking apps that will tell you how much time your child has spent online. This is definitely one of the most effective ways of managing screen time.

Make Them Work For It

A barter system always works with kids. If they want to watch a movie, a show or even play games, make them earn it. If they’re spending their days in online classrooms and still want to indulge in more screen time, give them offline tasks after school that will keep them engaged and will also be a way of earning the screen time they want. For example, get them to read chapters of a book and answer questions based on what they’re learnt. Get them involved in physical activity- this will ensure they’re staying fit and getting tired (they may even be too tired to want to watch TV afterwards). This way, you won’t just be managing screen time, but also making them understand that nothing comes for free in life.

Make Screen Time Informative

If your child insists on watching videos after an entire day of e-learning, let them know it’s conditional. Allow them to watch educational videos. Get them to watch shows that teach history, play games that get them to solve math problems, or watch videos that explore the world of science. At the end, have a discussion with them on what they learnt. This way, they get the best of both worlds.

Make Screen Time Family Time

Children are smart cookies. If you want them to spend time with you but they want the opposite, you’ve both got to come halfway. Tell your kids that if they want to have screen time after online school classes, then they’ve got to share it. Explain to them that you both spend your days doing your own “work” and that you both need some time to unwind. So make screen time family time where you all can watch something together. This way, their content exposure and time spent on screen are both in your control.

All the top schools in India will always guide you step-by-step when it comes to handling subjects like these. Schools such as Podar International School have a strong and tight-knit parent-teacher association. Check out the admission procedure here do you wish to enrol your kid in a healthy environment such as this.

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