5 ways to reduce Screen time!

ways to reduce screen timeDishing out the screen time like sweets at a party I think is something we can all admit to feeling a little guilty for. We’ve all done it. Haven’t we? I know I have on countless occasions. Even those moments where I just want five minutes peace I’ll put on another episode which causes the kids to go into some sort of unmovable trance. Queue the digital babysitters! It’s heaven. I get it. But sometimes I think to myself that the TV/iPad/PC or whatever has had the children’s attention more than I have. I don’t want my children growing up with that in mind! Just stop and think about it for a moment. You’ll sigh deeply, like the guilt flow in, it’ll consume you and you’ll vow to make changes.

According to a few surveys, children aged between 5 & 14 can spend as much as 6hrs a day in front of a screen. With older teenagers clocking up almost 8hrs a day! This is compared to 3hrs a day from back in 1995. However, nowadays a screen doesn’t just mean a TV. It means a tablet, mobile phone, a console, laptop and more. But when all is said and done, it’s still screen time.

So I figured I’d put together a post of some easy-to-enforce steps to help you reduce your child’s screen time.

Allow them to earn screen time. If there was one thing my Daddy made my Brother & I do when growing up, it was to earn what we got. That way we’d appreciate it more. These days, I personally think children {even my own} can lack in appreciate and tend to take things for granted. So let your children earn there screen time ie. 10 mins screen time for helping with the laundry, 5 mins screen time for putting all the toys away etc.

Make TV a treat rather than a constant. I’m referring to having your TV on in the background. Don’t worry though, I’m just as guilty for this as anyone else! But it’s also something I’ve started to make sure I don’t do. Therefore by doing this when the toddler has had a busy morning of playing and being active, I would like to treat her by giving her 20 mins of her favourite show. That way she’ll actually sit, watch & enjoy it while it’s on.

Encourage a ‘Screen-free’ day. This is something I started a few months back and I’ll be honest, the first day we did it, the kids, at first weren’t too impressed. But after a little moan and a flap about complaining of boredom {after 5mins of no screen-time} their imaginations kicked into play. Doing this just one day a week can make all the difference.

Dust off the board games. This is something we love to do in our home. We’re a big board game family and just love them all. Even the toddler gets involved in her own mischievous little way. But dusting off those board games, switching off all screens and just enjoying some good old-fashioned family time is really beneficial to your relationships as a family. Remember what that’s like?

Avoid TV dinners! Before our dining room makeover we were very guilty of all piling onto the sofa, each taking turns of what show to put on and enjoying our dinner. Now, post-Dining room makeover we now make it a time to turn off the TV and eat together as a family. Which can I just say….is one of my daily highlights!! We can talk, hear how everyone is getting on and air out any issues {which when you have kids, there’s always a few!}.

Have I left anything out? Feel free to let me know in the comments any of your tips for reducing screen time!

Follow:
Share:

9 Comments

  1. Janine
    11/10/2015 / 10:21 PM

    Hubby and I actually recently talked about this. The TV is always on in the background. I remember though when Matthew was smaller though he only got 1 hour a day. Since having 2 kids it’s a constant thing to keep the oldest entertained while the youngest needs attention.

  2. 12/10/2015 / 12:35 AM

    Our TV is always on during the day with kids TV. Lucas will ignore it unless it’s Umizoomi. Cameron however will sit and watch it for ages.

    I don’t really have a need to reduce their screen time at the moment. But if it increased anymore I would definitely follow your steps to reduce it. We are big board game fans too, I will be adding to the collection at Christmas so I am hoping Cameron will prefer to play them to watching tv/playing his PS3/wii/xbox

    Laura x x x

  3. Kellie Kearney
    12/10/2015 / 12:41 AM

    I feel awful guilty reading this buy in my defence we’ve a 7 week old and one year old. My five-year-old spends way too much time watching tv lately. I’ve used it as a babysitter almost as we adjust to new family life. Kick up the bum though. We’ll have a screen free day tomorrow.

  4. Amanda
    12/10/2015 / 2:25 PM

    defo agree about TV free dinners. I think meals should be social and interactive. I’m gonna ban phones and tablets when the boys are teens and grown ups too. Great post x

  5. 12/10/2015 / 3:29 PM

    Great tips! We always have the TV on in the background because I hate hate the house being quiet but I usually have it on a boring channel whilst we’re eating so the kids don’t get distracted. I’ve started cutting down amelia’s time on the ipad too which has helped x

  6. 12/10/2015 / 4:01 PM

    We have a screen free day every Sunday. I encourage my daughter to do other things like reading and playing and so far so good. It’s important to have time to rest the eyes and enjoy other activities! Angela

  7. 12/10/2015 / 10:07 PM

    We are all guilty of this, I know I do it when I have a bit of work that needs doing or when I am cooking tea. Kids definitely have it easier these days! I love it when the kids are playing or colouring and I manage to switch it off without them realising. We do have the to off and sit at the table for meals x #love2blog

  8. 13/10/2015 / 8:29 AM

    Me an my OH were just talking about this last night! We always have the tv on in the background bt thats the only thing that keeps me sane being a mother of 18month old twins lol! Great post! Xxx

  9. Pat Jones
    27/10/2015 / 1:52 AM

    Thanks for this post. I’d been feeling bad about the amount of time my three-year-old watches TV when I have a busy day in the house; although he loves Danger Mouse and Bing with all his little heart, I genuinely think he’d be much happier if we were playing with his LEGO together. But with a little one on the way, they will be surrounded by kids’ TV in a way their big brother never was as a baby unless we cut down on the screen time. Or we could fit a screen on their cot.

Leave a Reply