103: Stopping Screen Time Battles
Due to many technological advancements, most people have become heavily reliant on the use of technology, particularly different social media platforms. This brings us a new parenting challenge of how to pry these devices out of our kid’s hands.
In today’s episode, we’ll be discussing about stopping screen time battles with your kids considering the fact that excessive social media use significantly affects their mental health.
Managing screen time and boundaries.
It is definitely challenging to break away from technology nowadays, especially when it has made things more convenient for us in terms of communicating, shopping, transacting, and many other purposes. However, the problem comes in when we’re already becoming so attached with our phones and devices causing excessive social media use.
That is why it’s vital to have a structure for social media usage especially when you’re parenting. You have to set boundaries and relay your rules clearly and consistently to your kids. Setting boundaries helps safeguard your kids from potential risks and dangers associated with social media.
One of the most critical factors in stopping screen time battles is making your kids aware that they have to work for certain things and that not everything is going to be handed to them on a silver platter every single time. Because right now, most kids get everything and parents find it hard to say no sometimes. This factor also affects a kid’s journey to becoming more independent.
Don’t expect too much from your kids.
Sometimes, we tend to forget that our kids are still young. We have to keep in mind that kids don’t necessarily know when they’re already being dependent on their phones, specifically, on social media apps. These kids are not aware how much these devices are replacing the real-life interactions they need to improve their communication skills and empathy.
Of course, we can’t completely avoid technology because it has already been an integral part of life for so long now. We just have to remain patient and empathetic as our kids navigate the digital realm and consistently provide them with guidance and support.
To reduce their screen time, make sure to always have activities ready for your kids. Personally, I like making a list of options that my kids can work through to train them to be more independent and it’s been working out well so far. Giving your kids choices from a list of activities empowers them to take charge of their leisure time and make decisions based on their interests.
How to role model technology usage.
It is normal for kids to emulate what they see in their parents. Thus, it’s important for us to be role models when it comes to social media consumption or technology usage. It is our responsibility as parents to guide and educate them about healthy technology use and the importance of balancing screen time with real-life interactions.
Back when we were on a vacation from years ago, I had a real eye opener when my son drew a picture of me with my phone in hand. Normally, we would just shrug it off or justify such a situation by saying that we are able to work and have fun at the same time. What we don’t realize is that we’re not being good role models for our kids when we are always busy on our phones.
And so, to parents, make sure to put your phones down. Focus on your kids and interact with them. It’s also important to schedule screen-free time for the whole family and stick with it. With respect to good mental health, engaging in screen-free activities can reduce stress and anxiety.
For more information about the effects of screen time and how to better manage your kids’ screen time to promote healthy media usage, you can read the following blog posts: