Do your children spend too much of their free time in front of a TV, computer monitor, or other type of screen? If so, you are not alone.
There are many reasons for parents to be concerned. To name a few… struggles with school, attention problems, sleep and eating disorders, and obesity are all linked with excessive media time. Too much TV time not only takes away time that kids could spend being physically active. Watching too much TV also increases the chances of seeing all of the unhealthy food commercials, which leads them to eating more high-calorie foods. Which could cause obesity.With perseverance, patience and consistency- you can help your kids scale back their media time. Here are some tips on how to help overcome too much TV time…
Do not feel that you have to go cold turkey, make gradual changes. Try cutting down one hour a week to start.Take electronics out of your child’s room. Having a TV in your child’s room can interfere with her sleep, making her wired at night and tired during the day. If possible, keep the TV and computer out of your child’s room. If you put TVs and computers in a central location, you can better monitor the time spent in front of them.
Create a screen time schedule. Once you’ve established a TV time limit, if your child is of age to communicate, sit down with your child every week and let them figure out how they plan to use it. If possible make sure that screen time doesn’t occur during meals or within an hour of bedtime.Cover the TV when it is not in use. Put a blanket over the TV and put electronics out of eye level. Out of sight, out of mind.Make your own screen time. If you spend a good portion of your day surfing the net on your computer or on your phone or watching TV for other reasons than for work, you should not expect to pry your children loose from their screens. Keep track of your screen time. Monkey see, monkey do!
Encourage other activities. Reading, doing puzzles or board games, playing outside, spending time with friends or family are a few of the healthy activities your children can engage in instead of watching TV, playing video games, or being on the computer. It really helps if you engage in these activities along with your children.Stand your ground. Be consistent. Chances are cutting back on your child’s screen time will cause some conflicts. Remember, YOU are the adult and YOU are in charge.
Consistency is KEY! I wish you the best of luck! I promise, it will be well worth once you have overcome too much TV time.