When it comes to screen time for children, parents are confused! What is the best thing to do?
On the one-hand, we hear about the negative impact of technology on our children; on the other, we hear praise for the many educational resources online.
What is the right thing to do?
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In Episode 19 of Raising Mums, I present both the positive and negative arguements for children using screens, so that you can make an informed decision.
I also share 8 ways that you can encourage your children to have a healthy relationship with technology.
WATCH THIS VIDEO!
Screen Time for Children
As screen usage becomes more widespread amongst children. With it, we also see a widespread reduction in reading for pleasure, an increase in mental health issues, a reduction in time spent in physical activities, and less time talking to family members.
However, if used intentionally, technology can can enrich you child’s learning experience.
If you want to know more, WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE!
So how do we find the balance? How can our children benefit from screens, whilst also being protected from the negative? Here are 8 ways to encourage a your children to have a healthy relationship with screens.
8 Ways to Reduce Screen Time for Children
1 –Talk to your kids
Simply telling them that they can’t have screen time because, “It’s bad for you,’ or worse, “Because I said so!” will only make children resentful towards you. Instead, explain to them your concerns and why you feel that they need to spend less time online or watching TV. If you involve them in the discussion and the decision making, and they will take ownership for these changes, making any transition easier for everyone.
2 – Set Boundaries
As I mentioned in this week’s episode of Raising Mums, it is so hard for adults to have self-control with their technology; and so expecting a child to exercise this kind of self-discipline is ridiculous. Instead, make it easier for them, by establishing boundaries around screen time.
This might mean only allowing screens on certain days, or at certain times of the day. Look at your family’s weekly schedule and mindfully think through – which are the best times for your children to use their technology?
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3 – Use Technology
There are now apps available that will help you and your children to develop a healthier relationship with screens.
I would recommend Mobicip. It works for multiple children, across all your devices, allowing parents to set times for when screen is allowed, and censor certain websites and apps. You can even censor keywords (such as Xmas or Minecraft!) If your child goes to a website or app with this content, Mobicip will prevent them from gaining access.
Apps like Mobicip are ideal for parents who may not be able to monitor what a child is viewing at all times, or families with more than one child.
4 – Use a Reward system
Rather than screen time being an expectation, make screen use a reward.
Children can use tokens or stars to earn screen time. For example 5 starts could earn a child 15 minutes of screen time.
Tokens could be given out for good behaviour, doing chores, saying all his daily prayers.
Get creative with this idea and have some fun!
5 – Reduce Number of Devices
Instead of having a TV in every room or each child having a device of their own, create a space in your home just for screen time.
For example, we have one TV, and a few tablets which are all used, charged and stored in one area of our home. Screens do not leave that part of the house. That means that the majority of our home is screen free!
This reduces the temptation children may feel to pick up a device or watch TV during the day.
6 – Encourage hobbies
Encourage your children to develop interests outside of their screens. This will take time, but remember it is often our children hood interests that develop into lifelong passions.
You can help your children with a new art set, or football or take them to new kid’s class. Perhaps you could introduce them to one of your interests and open their eyes to the world around them
7 – Be more Sociable
Instead of filling their weekends with gaming and YouTube, invite family and friends over.
Not only will this distract children from wanting to use their devices, but it will also help them to form friendship and closer ties with relatives.
8 – Use Audiobooks
To relax in the evenings, instead of switching on the TV, or scrolling through your phone, put on an Audiobook!
Likewise, instead of handing out devices on those long car trips, put on an audiobook, and enjoy a story together as a family.
Audible have the world’s largest selection of audiobooks.
They offer a 30-day FREE TRIAL, allowing you to chose a FREE BOOK (2 Free Books if you’re a prime member!). You can cancel anytime, and you still get to keep the audiobook!
For Islamic Audio Books, I recommend Quantum Chronicles. Their Seerah series, “A Year with the Prophet” is wonderful!
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50+ FREE Resources Every Homeschooler Should Know About!
Toddlers and Screens
More screens, Less Reading
Literacy Rates in Working Class Boys
Suicides Linked with Screen Time
Obesity Concerns with increased Technology
Impact of Screens on Family Life
Bill Gates and Steve Jobs’ children are tech free
Positive Correlation between tablets and emergent readers
Thank you to our Sponsor
Thank you WordUnited for Sponsoring today’s episode.
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Next week we’ll be doing a LIVE Q&A session!
If you’ve got a question that you’d like me to answer, Drop it in the Box below! I’ll be answering a many questions as I can next Sunday on the show!
I hope you’ll join me next week, Sunday 16th February 2020,at 10 am GMT, on Facebook and Instagram, for the LIVE Q&A episode of Raising Mums!
I hope you have a beautiful week friends!
Peace and Love,
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