Screen time such as watching television and playing games on a tablet or on a cell phone are all OK for your child sometimes, but when this is all your child wants to do, there is a problem. Screen time should be limited to no more than 1 to 2 hours per day for children over 2 years old according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. You need to be responsible as a parent to limit this screen time and give your child a chance to play and learn in other ways. Playing pretend with toys and interacting with other children are important. Here is how to limit your child's time in front of a screen.
Set a Timer
Set a timer on your tablet or phone to limit the amount of time your child can play. When the timer runs out, the tablet or phone turns off. There are some apps out there that you can download to help you. Note that there may be a fee associated with these apps.
Add a Password
Give all of your electronics a password that must be entered before you can play on them. Change your passwords often to keep your kids on their toes. You can set a lock on your television depending on the type you have.
Get your child involved in team sports or some other type of activity that gets them around other kids and out of the house. Get more involved with your child as well. If you are in front of the television, or on your electronics often, your child is going to want to do that as well—they learn from example.
Only use screen time as a reward. If your child does his or her chores, say he or she cleaned up his or her room, has read or done something creative like painting or coloring, you can give your child a limited amount of screen time as a reward. Make up tickets that your child can earn and then turn in for screen time.
Your child will have fewer behavioral problems, learning difficulties, and will even sleep better if you limit screen time according to Iowa State University. Limiting time in front of the screen can be done, even though we live in a world filled with electronics. It's not necessary to cut it out all together; there just needs to be a limit. For assistance, talk to a pediatric professional like Ada Pediatrics PA.