“Children won't remember their best day of screen time, but they will remember the days they spent outside and with loved ones.” - Anonymous
How to Limit Screen Time for Your Kids While You Work From Home
Do you need help managing screen time for your kids while working from home? It can take a lot of work to juggle both the demands of your job and your children's needs. Fortunately, a few simple tips can help you limit screen time for your kids so that you can stay productive while you work from home.
According to psychologists, excessive screen time can cause lower psychological health and less emotional stability in kids. So, it is important to take few steps to cut TV and/or mobile use from daily routine. When limiting screen time for your kids while you work from home, one of the most important steps you can take is to keep screens out of bedrooms. Keeping screens away from bedrooms helps reduce distractions and encourages better sleep habits. Kids with access to screens in their bedrooms are likelier to be up late, watching TV, playing video games, or scrolling through social media. To enforce this rule, you should create a designated screen-storage zone in your home that isn't in any bedroom. Keeping screens powered down and out of bedrooms at bedtime will ensure that yours kids are not distracted and awake when they should be sleeping.
Setting consistent limits for your children's screen time is essential to helping them stay on track. By setting clear expectations, you can help your children understand how long they can use screens each day and what activities should take precedence over screen time. When setting limits, make sure to take into account the age and maturity of your children. Younger children may need more structure and guidance than older kids, so setting age-appropriate limits is crucial. To ensure your limitations are consistent, create a daily schedule that includes when your kids can use screens, how much time they can spend on their devices, and any other restrictions you want to put in place, such as no screens during meals or homework times. Ensure everyone in the family understands the rules, and be prepared to remind your kids if they stray from the schedule. It's also important to have consequences in place for not following the rules. The American Academy of Pediatrics opposes screen use by kids under 2 and limits older kid's screen use to one or two hours a day.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gives the average daily hours by age group:
8-10 years old: Six hours
11-14 years old: Nine hours
15-18 years old: Seven and 1/2 hours
Creating a schedule is one of the most effective ways to limit screen time for your kids while you work from home. Having consistent times for meals, play, and screen time can help keep everyone on track and prevent screen time from taking over. Try setting up a routine with designated meal times, chores, playtime, screen time, and bedtime. This will help create structure in your day and keep everyone on task. Be sure to include plenty of off-screen activities throughout the day, so your kids still get the physical activity and social interaction they need. It will help if you involve them in setting the daily routine to have their own will. These activities will help keep them from feeling like their freedoms are being taken away and make it more likely that they'll stick to the schedule. It's also important to remember that plans need to be flexible. If something unexpected comes up or you have to shift some activities, be willing to be flexible with the schedule. Having too strict of a schedule can be counter-productive, so feel free to switch things up if needed.
When you're working from home, keeping your kids away from screens can be difficult. One of the best ways to do this is to make sure you are taking advantage of off times throughout the day. Try to make a plan for when your kids can take breaks from their screens, like during meals or when you're taking a break from work. During these times, encourage your kids to do something else, like play outside or read a book. This will allow them to take a break from screens and also help them develop healthy habits.
One of the best ways to help limit screen time for your kids while you work from home is to encourage outdoor play. Outdoor activities provide children with a much-needed break from screens, promote physical activity, and help children engage in imaginative play. Additionally, outdoor time improves mental health, boosts creativity, and reduces stress. Start by ensuring your child can access a safe outdoor space with plenty of things to explore, such as a garden or a park. Designate specific areas or times of day for outdoor activities that will benefit your child. Ensure they have proper outdoor clothing, sun protection, and snacks to keep their energy levels up.
You can also get involved in your child's outdoor play. It can be playing tag or shooting hoops, showing an interest in their outdoor activities will make them more likely to spend time outside. Consider joining a local sports team or a gardening club, which can help provide your family with a sense of community while you work from home.
It cannot be easy to manage screen time for our kids without professional guidance. When handling screen time, looking for any signs of unhealthy usage is essential. If you need help to limit screen time and your child is becoming overly reliant on their devices, consider seeking professional help. Finding a counselor or therapist specializing in addiction to digital media can be beneficial in setting healthy boundaries. A qualified professional can provide invaluable advice and resources to help your family overcome the challenges of limiting screen time. It's also important to remember that other things could be causing unhealthy screen time usage, such as mental health issues or emotional distress. A professional can help identify any underlying causes and provide the best solution for your family. By seeking help from a professional, you can ensure that your family is getting the support they need to make positive changes in their lives. Professional services can provide a safe space for your family to learn, grow and set limits to have a healthy relationship with technology.
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Guide is taught with subject matter expert, Timothy Poore with ATP Healthcare, a post acute care placement agency for hospitals, rehabilitation facility, at home care, and patients.
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