Nowadays, it’s incredibly difficult to get your kids off their screens. Whether that’s phones, laptops or tablets, kids between the ages of 8 and 18 tend to spend over 45 hours per week on their screens. Whereas over 25% of those kids actually state that they’re addicted. So, the worry on parents’ behalf isn’t misplaced. Because it’s very hard to monitor screen time when they also need to search for information online when it comes to schoolwork. Luckily, we’re here to help. We have listed 4 alternatives to get your kids off their screens.
1. Talk about it
The first step isn’t really an alternative, but it’s a tip. We suggest talking to your kids about their screen time. They’ll probably won’t agree with you because their friends spend so much more time on their screens than them. However, talking about it creates awareness. During this talk, you can carefully jump on the conversation about a screen time limit.
Compromise with your children about how much time they’re allowed to spend on their screens per day. After they spend that much time, they have to hand it in. Or, you can put an actual limit on their phone. So when the limit is reached, a passcode (that only you know) needs to be filled in order to continue. It’s quite petty, but if that is what you need to do in order to get them offline..
2. Give the right example
So you’ve set some rules or limits on screen use. But along with these rules, it’s important that you, as a parent, stick to those as well. Otherwise, your children will not take you seriously. And you want to give them the right message, that if you can do it, so can they. If you provide your kids with good modelling behaviour, they will establish good habits as well.
3. Think about the future
You want to get your kids off their screens, so you have to come up with alternatives. Maybe you can have a good conversation about something else now and again. For example, talk about their career goals or future plans. Maybe they want to be on an oil rig just as their dad who’s currently following the ‘Working at Height’ and ‘GWO BST Onshore’ courses to gain even more knowledge and experience. Or maybe they want to be like their mom, a marketing manager at a big firm.
4. Rewards your kids
Another way to slowly get your kids off their screens is to reward them if they spend less than a certain amount of hours per day. You can either discuss this beforehand, so they’ll be extra motivated or surprise them as a form of recognition. These can be small things such as picking out dinner for that evening, going out for dinner or even going to an amusement park. But whatever you want to do, that’s up to you.
Of course, there are still a lot of other things that you can do to make sure your kids will stare at their screens less. But this is a good start. Good luck.