Winter is finally here, and with it comes the holiday season. While many love the sights and smells of the holidays, many parents struggle with the problem of too much screen time and overuse of electronics with the kids. Looking to make the holidays a time to remember but trying to keep the kids active and engaged without prolonged uses of screens? Try these 5 great tips and see the benefits for yourself:
- Set Screen Time Limits – Having a plan of action for your kids and setting firm boundaries is the first and best way to allow some screen time but prevent the long sessions we are so used to seeing during the holidays. Setting a time limit gives your child the knowledge that some screen time is okay but is not surprised when it’s time to shut down.
- Have Screen-Free Meals – The holidays are the perfect time to start new traditions! A great one to start is having screen-free meals and have some quality time to discuss current events and share stories of the day. Not only is this meal idea great with building a strong family unit but may actually lead to healthier eating habits.
- Face-to-Face Time – Sometimes bad habits surrounding screen time may start with you, the parent. Try to limit your own consumption over the holidays and reap the benefits of children naturally reducing their own. This is a great opportunity to reconnect with your kids and gets you active during the holidays too.
- Don’t Use Screens to Control Behavior – Try to avoid using screen time as a reward or punishment device. Putting such a high value on screen time can actually lead to your kids wanting more of it in the future.
- Keep Bedrooms for Sleeping and Recharging – Keep screens and charging stations outside the bedroom. Keeping devices out of bedrooms can improve sleep quality for children and promote healthy sleeping habits.
Parents play a tremendous role in setting boundaries for their children especially when it comes to media and screen use. Setting strong boundaries when it comes to screen time allows children more opportunities to explore their own environment and develop strong-healthy relationships with others around them.