5 Ways to Get Your Kids Off Screens

Limit or No Screen Time, that was what the title of an article that came out yesterday in the New York Times. Did you read it? Here is a link if you are curious.

It is a great article. Talking about the research around screen time. More interestingly to me, it talks about getting kids moving, getting kids outside and getting kids on a good sleep cycle. Highlighting that starting these habits young, will lead to them becoming happy health adults.

It was all brilliant! Then I got to the end and wondered, how are parents going to get their kids off screens. I know that is often the challenge. Not that you want your son or daughter on screens, its that you don’t know how to get them off. So, I thought I would share my top 5 tech tips with you. Let me know how they work, ok?

Here are my top 5 tips for you

  1. Model the behavior you want to see. If you are always on your screens, your kids are going to want to always be on their screens. 
  1. Go outside with your kids and leave your screens. Be present with them, teach them your favorite sport or take them to your favorite place outside or walk around the block and show them your favorite building. They will have a great time because you are giving them positive attention. Who knows, maybe you will have fun too!
  1. Have a place in the house where you put screens when they are off limits. Don’t just leave the iPad sitting on the table, that is very tempting. Have a box, shelf or drawer where it can always go when its not time to play with it. Out of sight and out of mind. 
  1. Make “Next Time” plan for screens. Every time you take away a screen from your child, tell them when they can have it again. This avoids having big set family rules that you keep breaking, while providing clarity.
  1. When your kids have to get off their screen, have it be to something fun sometimes. If I had to get off my screen for homework or to clean my room, I would complain also. Sometime have it be that they need to come for dessert or to play with you.

I know, behavior is personal. If you tried these tools and they are not working for you, you might need something personalized. That is my speciality! So let me know where you are struggling and I will see how I can best help you and your family!

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