It's dinner time and everyone in your family is nose-down, glued to their phones and mobile devices, rather than making good ol'-fashioned eye contact. Sound familiar? Setting limits on screen time — and remembering to put down our own devices and connect with our kids face-to-face — is one of the biggest parenting challenges of our time. Studies show that two-thirds of children ages 8 to 10 say that their parents have "no rules" on the time they spend with media. Experts say that parents need to take charge, not only by limiting children's screen time, but by keeping their own mobile use and media habits in check. Use this guide to create smart screen-time rules for your whole family.
It’s evening, and everyone is finally home together for the day. You look around and see everyone in your family is busy on their Laptop and mobile devices, rather than spending quality family time together. Sound familiar?
As the New York Times article reports, screen addiction is taking a toll on kids' physical and emotional health, causing body pain, obesity, social isolation, depression, difficulty in school, and increased exposure to violence.
Do you feel like you need to limit screen-time for your family but aren’t sure where to begin?
Here is a quick guide
1. Make a Chart
Observe and write down the exact screen-time of every family member on a printable screen-time chart.
Do the numbers surprise you?
2. Screen-free Outdoor Play
Limit screen-time by encouraging children to play outside.
3. Phone-Free Mealtime
Designate the dinner table as a “no tech-zone” in your home and try to eat together every night.
4. No Texting While Driving
Designate cars as “phone-free zones.” Prevent kids from talking and texting while driving. Be an example and put your phone away while driving.
5. Screen-Free Before Bed
Encourage your family to put their phones away at least an hour before bedtime. Spend that time having conversations
6. Apply the Rules to Yourself
Set a “Family Only” time and spend it without your laptop or mobile device. Use your phone only after your kids have gone to sleep.
7. Weekly “Screen-free” Activities
Plan family crafts and activities like camping and hiking that don’t involve devices.
8. Family Media Pledge
Yes, you heard it right! Create new media usage rules and goals and put them in writing for the entire family to agree upon and follow.
It’s time to reduce your family’s “screen-time” and enjoy making memories in "real time."
Take a break and unplug!
For more information, visit www.familyeducation.com.