Fix Your Screen Time Woes
Having trouble tearing your kids away from their screens? Try these solutions.
Bed time troubles - Try these ideas for a smoother bed time:
- Have kids hand in cell phones, iPods and other portable electronics an hour before bed time.
- Shut off the wireless router an hour before bed time.
- Shut off the TV, computer and video games an hour before bed time.
Trouble setting limits - If you're looking for a new way to make your screen time rules stick, try these suggestions:
- Give each child a stash of poker or bingo chips to represent their screen time for the week. Offer to buy back any unused chips at the end of the week.
- Use the Xbox 360 family time feature to control how long kids play on a daily or weekly basis.
- Stop using the TV as background noise. Turn on the radio or play some music instead.
Making the switch - As the Bansleys learned, reducing screen time doesn't automatically mean increased physical activity. Try these ideas for making the switch:
- Ask your kids for 30 minutes of physical activity before any screen time.
- Make a re:activity idea jar and have the kids pick an activity when they're bored.
- Make sure you have fun, active alternatives available. The rights toys and gear can make a big difference.
- Send them outside! It worked for our parents.
How much is too much? Experts recommend:
- no more than 2 hours a day of screen time for kids 5 and up
- no more than an hour a day for 2-4 year olds
- no screen time for children under two