Handling your child's screen time.
By now everyone knows the fact - Children are amazing and makes our lives complete. However, when they are in a bad mood and throws a tantrum, it also flip our lives upside down. Sometimes, all we need is 5 minutes without a screaming toddler aching for attention.
This is why many parents, albeit saying many times they said they will not, gave up and uses screens as "baby sitters". Being exposed to the screen for a prolonged period of time can hinder children's brain and social development. Therefore, it is essential for parents to not give in to the screams and manage their children's time on the screen.
Mumspicks will share 5 simple ways on how you can do that.
1. Set limits.
1 hour is much clearer than an unset amount of time, allow children to save it to a later use for them to have a sense of control.
2. Set rules.
For yourself and your children if they are old enough to understand rules. For example rules like no using of electronics WHILE eating, school nights, or when homework are not complete. Also set rules for yourself to NOT give in to their pleas.
3. Enforce it.
This bring us to one of the most important part. Enforce your rules and limits! Your children, no matter how young, will know that as long as they scream loud enough or beg long enough mommy and daddy will give in. Be firm with your rules and do not give in, before long, the new rules will be the norm.
4. Reward (Punish) it.
Unless it's for school work or educational purposes, do not make it an entitlement. Only 'reward' your children iPad usage time when they earned it, and punish them by taking it back or disallowing usage when they misbehave. Only allow them more freedom on the usage when they are older, 10 - 12 years old.
5. Doing it.
Children learn through examples. If their parents are facing the screen 24/7, chances are that is exactly what your children will do. Remember that your children are always watching. Put that phone down and spend more time doing hands on activities with your children.
Whatever rules you make, the hardest part is sticking to them. Always keep in mind that when good habits are not cultivated while young, it will be more difficult for children to kick their screen reliance when they grow older. Remember to always lead by example too!