Parenting tips: 5 ways to limit your child’s screen time during the lockdown

On April 14, 2020 |

New Delhi: Being stuck at home for weeks can get boring. Perhaps, children are affected by physical distancing, quarantines and school closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. They are bored and want to go outside to play but they can’t. As we continue to stay at home, chances are kids may be the ones who would continuously use a mobile phone or tab to keep themselves occupied. Research has shown that too much screen time can be harmful for kids’ development.

As children may be feeling more isolated, they may end up spending too much time playing games on mobile phones. Too much screen time can cause a number of issues -ranging from health to behavioural to educational problems. Thus, it is essential to limit screen time of your child – perhaps, without fighting with him or her.

Tips for limiting your kids’ screen time
Excessive screen time could invite health problems such as obesity, neck pain, fatigue, and put a strain on eyes and even impairment in brain structure and function, said Dr Mubashshir Muzammil Khan, Consultant Neonatologist & Paediatrician, Motherhood Hospital, Kharghar, Mumbai. If you are worried about the consequences of too much screen time, then you must make your child understand the importance of cutting it down. Here are a few tips for parents to reduce screen time in children.

  1. Technology-free zones: Try to create a technology-free zone wherein you shouldn’t allow your kids to use smartphones or laptops. Encourage your kids to spend quality time with family. See to it that your kids do not use cellphones or laptops during meals or family conversations.
    2. Digital detox: Inculcate the habit of digital detox for your entire family. Stay away from using any electronic gadgets for a period of time. See to it that your kids or you do not use cell phones an hour before bedtime and, instead, spend time with each other.
    3. Monitor the content: You must protect your kids from watching explicit content. Set regulations and keep an eye on what your child is viewing online as they can become violent or aggressive. Do not allow your child to watch TV or use a mobile phone while in the bedroom. Do not give your kids their own smartphone or tablet. Limit their usage habit. Set a proper schedule about when your kid should watch TV or use a smartphone.
    4. Educate your children: You must make your kids understand the dangers of harmful content. Explain to them how playing violent games, or watching violent movies can rob their peace of mind. Establish rules for using social media and obtain passwords from your child.
    5. Indoor games: Encourage your children to play indoor games, read books, solve puzzles and listen to music. Help him/her enhance creativity.
    Try to do certain activities as a family. Educate your kids about various interesting topics such as science and technology or general knowledge.

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