Before I start the post, let me just say it is a no-judgment zone. Whether you have given your kid a phone to get a few minutes of a breather or decided otherwise, I am sure, you being a parent did best for them.
I fall in the first category, being a first-time mom and in a nuclear set up the best way I could find a breather was by giving her screen time. I do not feel guilty about it, primarily because this helped her learn a lot of things including rhymes in different languages. However, somewhere along the way, I think I might have gotten a little unaware of the time she spent on digital gadgets.
That’s the thing about kids, monkey sees monkey do. I was on the phone for a longer period of time owing to the work that I do and it reflected on the habits of my little one. I noticed the behavior change in her and that rang a bell in my head. I decided to take the situation under control. Here are the few things I did and it helped in managing the screen time for my little one, try it and let me know if it helped:
Use The Apps
There are a lot of apps that can be used to manage screen time. There is one we use wherein after an hour phone automatically gets locked and can only be unlocked with parental access through our phones.
When I work, many a time I forget to keep a track of time but this app has helped me a lot to manage the screen time for my little one. Just a bit of a google search can give you many options for different apps, just make sure to check the reviews and rating.
Plan The Activities In Advance
Even though it is a bit time consuming but I assure you this works and I have tried it. My little one loves coloring and DIY. Use Pinterest and you will find dozens of activities that will keep your kids busy. There are free printable available on the net that you can easily download and plan the activities a day in advance.
I already have a weekly planner for my blogging, all I do is write an activity along with my work. My toddler recently started writing a few alphabets so we picked up a few activities that go with her area of interest.
Talk To Them
I understand you might think they are too young to understand anything but believe me, they understand everything. My mom says that kids nowadays are born intelligent and pretty good negotiators when it comes to their favorite things.
Talk to them and make them understand why too much screen time is not good for them. Make sure they are in the mood of talking. With us, bedtime talks are the best way to have proper communication with my little one. She listens and responds. Kids are curious in nature and we need to make sure to use this curiosity towards something fruitful.
I am not exaggerating when I say a toddler is more difficult to handle than any other job that I have ever done. When kuhu was in the habit of using a phone for a longer period of time, it was a phase to test my patience. The more I tried, the more rebellious she got. The key was being consistent with my efforts. There were many days when I lost my cool but thankfully the family took care of it. At the end of the day, we need to understand that kids will show tantrums when get denied for things they get addicted to.
As I already mentioned, no matter how much we preach unless we don’t show it via our actions there is no way kids would follow our words. Limit your phone usage too and you will notice how much difference it brings in your life.
I really hope these tips help you manage the screen time for your kids. Don’t forget to share the tricks that worked for you so other moms can get help too.
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I so know the challenge . It was crazy when my daughter was younger now its just got a little easy as she has many more things to do and anyway doesn’t listen much!!
These tips are useful for parents who are stuck up with digital time. And kids enact what parents do in front of them.
Thanks, Kavita. I really needed to this at this point in time. Screen time is emerging as a challenge. Will remember your points.
This is the biggest challenge I am facing dear but your advice undoubtedly make me a little sane about how to do it
I love this post. I do agree with sane screen parenting and with your points too.
We recently reduced the screen time to an hour or so…It was had as they get bored easily and ask for it. But consistency helps a lot!!
Great tips. I somehow feel talking and explaining to kids always work. They would understand if we explain them well in a way they can relate and understand. Great post
These are some great tips. Very helpful and much needed. Thanks for sharing them.
This post will definitely be helpful for my lil cousin. Will sugget your tips to my aunt. 🙂
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I never say 100% no to screetime as well. I mean why not if they are watching something educational. These tips so reduce the screentime will come in handy too.
That is sound advice for parents, as we cannot shun screen time completely.
Good use of app to measure screen time. I will spread the word of caution amongst young mothers.
Nice post. All the pointers are very useful. I would like to know more about the app’s that you mentioned in the first point.
We should limit for our phone usage too, well said Kavita. Iam working on that.
Totally agree with you on this! Great post!