Screen time refers to the amount of time spent on using devices with a screen, such as playing electronic games on a smartphone, working on a computer, and watching television.
It can help promote a healthy lifestyle when properly used. Kids are more prone to unhealthy screen time, as they are more likely to spend most of their time with their gadgets than doing physical activities. That is why parents and guardians play a vital role in giving their children a healthy screen time.
Here are some tips for a healthy screen time:
- Decrease screen time.
Experts say that a healthy amount of screen time per day should be less than two hours. Any time after this should be spent on other physical activities instead of activities spent on the screen. Children who are younger should have a lesser amount of screen time.
- 30-minute break
Have a break every 30 minutes. Sitting for a long period of time is not good. It is important to move around and get up for a while to avoid health risks such as eye fatigue and vision problems, body pain, and muscle pain.
- Set rules ‘when’ and ‘where’ screen time is allowed.
It is important to have a particular time and place where screen time is allowed. There should be a specific time when it should be used to have a balanced schedule of the activities to be done on a particular day. For instance, screen time should not be allowed during family meals as it could hinder family members’ healthy bonding and communication. As to where it should be used, there should be a particular place in which it is allowed. Such as in the family living room, to encourage a strong bond between every family member when watching TV or a particular movie together.
- Screen-free bedroom
Avoid screen time, preferably an hour before going to sleep. As much as possible, remove any devices away from your room and put them in other places that you can’t easily access or are unreachable in order for you not to be tempted to use it and in order to enable you to have a good quality of sleep which contributes to a healthy lifestyle.
- Check screen time
Monitoring your screen time plays an important role in order for you to be able to do worthwhile activities. Keeping track of it will also help you become aware of how much of your time is spent on this so you can make necessary adjustments to manage your time, and it will also help you discipline yourself not to overuse this.
- Be a good role model with regards to proper use of screen time.
It all starts with oneself. Setting a good example to your family with proper screen time motivates and encourages them to use it properly. Most of this is very applicable to parents who set rules for their children with regards to proper use of screen time. They are most likely to follow when they see you oblige to your rules—for instance, turning off the TV when not in use or turning off your phone during meals.
- Don’t use screen time as a reward to a child.
Making a habit of using screen time as a reward for children is not good because they might get used to it. Instead, use other ways to reward them, such as helping them to engage in physical activities that are necessary for their development and health.
- Background check what they watch, hear, or play on their screen time.
This is more applicable to parents, who should always monitor what their children do on their screen time. For instance, check the status of a particular video game they are playing, monitoring what it is like and making sure that it does not corrupt or pollute their minds. It is also more applicable that computers at home are set in a particular place in the house where you can easily monitor them.
Screen time has both advantages and disadvantages. But with proper usage and discipline would have a huge impact on each individual’s healthy screen time.