Simple Ways to Keep Your Kids Engaged (+ Limit Screen Time)

Sharing is caring!

The world today is full of opportunities. The constant advancement and evolution of technology make everything seem possible. As parents, we want to provide our children with the perfect environment and the financial means to fully develop their talents and reach their potential. But the reality of that can be overwhelming.

Parents face different kinds of challenges every day. Financial challenges range from wondering how long can children stay on their parents’ insurance and when, as well as how to save for college. And creative challenges include trying to find new and fun ways to keep your kids engaged without screens.

When it comes to screen time, there are easy tips to help parents take control of when, where, and how much time children spend buried in screens. Understanding these limits will help you fret less and have a better chance to enjoy being the “fun mom.”

Effects of Screen Time

The first place to start is to understand how too much screen time can affect your children. Study after study has made it clear that too much time looking at screens is damaging for children.

Children who are allowed too much or unlimited screen time are often less engaged in real life. These children check out of real-life interaction and struggle with an increased risk of attention issues and childhood hyperactivity. They often have weakened communication and social skills.

Other studies have shown that children who spend too much time on screens are at an increased risk of weight gain and sleep issues. The constant intake of screens or technology can harm a child’s developing brain, interrupting connections and chemical balances.

Importance of Limits on Screen Time

With the potential for many mental, physical, and emotional issues, it’s important to limit the amount of time children spend engrossed in technology. While the best option would be no technology, that’s not the world we live in.

Parents can turn to the American Pediatric Association for suggested screen time limitations:

  • Children under 2: no screen time
  • Children 2 to 12: one hour per day
  • Teens and adults: 2 hours per day

Limiting screen time also helps keep children safe on the internet. Unlimited and unfiltered access can lead to more serious issues as well.

How to Keep Kids Engaged

So if kids aren’t on screens, what do they do? Parents can find it hard to fill the hours if they are making a concerted effort to limit the amount of time their children spend on screens. Fortunately, there are a few great tips to keep the kids off the screen but still fun and engaging.

1) Set Limits on Electronic Devices and Accounts

Most devices and online accounts have the option for parents to set time limits. Parents can set the amount of time each child is able to play on a device each day. Once that time limit is reached, the device locks, and children are unable to operate it any longer.

2) Create Technology-Free Zones in the House

Make certain rooms in your home technology free. In these areas, children will need to find entertainment in other ways: Read books, color or craft, complete a puzzle, or just sit and chat face-to-face.

Consider making each child’s bedroom technology-free. This will help children get more restful and refreshing sleep each night.

3) Explain Why There Are Limits

Before making these changes, be sure to talk with your children. Explain why these limits are being created and enforced. This will help children understand why they will be expected to stop playing and find other activities.

4) Encourage Outside Exploration

One of the best activities for children of all ages is to get outside. Children should be encouraged to spend at least 30 minutes a day outside. This can be a requirement for children before they jump back on screens for the day.

5) Encourage Boredom

Studies show that creativity and problem-solving are developed through boredom. Children shouldn’t always be given an activity when they shout about being bored. As you limit screen time, encourage your child to just be bored and see what they get into.

6) Make Screen Time a Privilege

If you’re struggling with ways to limit screen time, consider making it a privilege or something to be earned. Have children complete chores, maintain a good attitude, or even work on completing homework before turning screens on.

7) Encourage New Activities and Skills

With fewer hours on screens, children can be encouraged to find and develop new skills. It may be slow going at first, but children may find something they are incredibly passionate about. Consider researching new and fun activities like wood burning for beginners to get your child started.

Adults With More Time

Adults can suffer from too much screen time as well. It’s harder to limit when so much of our work is completed online, but it’s worth limiting outside of work hours. Consider making the screen limits a family activity

Sharing is caring!

Speak Your Mind