In the new age of parenting, screen time has become part of parenting life. I think that as long as we monitor the time and the information our children are consuming there is a place for it in everyday life and the screen time can be valuable for education. With that being said I believe we need to balance our screen time with life skills and time away from our screens.
As adults we have to be conscious of the time that we are pre occupied with screen time, via our phones, tablets, laptops and tv. There is a time and place for screen time and there also needs to be a balance with life and spending quality time with our children. Children learn quickly and if they see you making good screen time decisions they will follow suit.
Teaching our children life skills such as making the bed, cooking, good personal hygiene habits and many other skills that they will be able to use through life will create strong work ethics and help them maintain a balanced life as they grow. If these lessons are taught at a young age they will become routine in everyday life. It has been documented that children who consume many hours of screen time and tv in a day can become agitated and have increased anxiety. Having them take a break and enjoy the outdoors or time playing with friends, clears the mind and gives the body exercise.
I recommend that you set out specific screen time rules for your family. This may be different in each home but a necessary tool to help children understand boundaries. As the children get older sit with them and have a family discussion about screen time and what kind of rules they would like to see. Children see life from a different angle and it is always refreshing to get their opinion. Work together for a solution that works for your family.
Ideas for a Screen / Life Balance
✨ Place a basket in the Kitchen, when the family is sitting down to a meal everyone ( friends included) place their cell phones in the basket with ringers off for the duration of the meal.
✨ Set a time of day that you are done work. Put out of office on or a voicemail message to let people know you are away. It sets boundaries for yourself and will give you more quality family time and down time for yourself. It also sets boundaries for the company that you work for, including the self employed, we need to take breaks too!
✨ Take time to view the analytics on your phone. Both Apple and Android cell phones keep track of screen time and also break the time down into apps and other areas so you know how long you have been using your phone in a day and what areas you are spending the most time in. Are you a gamer? Are you a Facebook or Instagram watcher? Do you love movies? They all take time. Be conscious of how long you are on your phone or tablet and why.
✨ Are you or the children having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at night. Take a break from the screens an hour before bedtime. Let your mind slow down and relax. Read a book, spend time talking, sit and meditate or think about the good things that happened in the day. Give your mind and your eyes time to wind down and rest.