Controling your Child’s Screentime

In some families screentime can be a huge problem. Mobile phones and tablets are a huge part of kids’ lives in today’s society. But is there a way that you as a parent can get control of your children’s screentime habits?

In this post I will share a few ideas that you as a parent can implement to take control and cut down your children’s screentime. So let us dive right into it.

Monitor Usage

For most parents, this sounds like spying, but it is not. There are many apps you can install on your kids’ devices to monitor their screentime. You are not going into their private messages, photos, etc. You are simply tracking their usage to see if they are on their phones too often.

There are also apps that parents can install that will block usage of their phones between certain hours. These are very popular amongst parents and have great success in many cases. But I personally do not like this option for one specific reason. Self-control.

You see, self-control is one of the fruits of the Spirit that we read of in Galatians 5:22-23. Yes, blocking your child’s phone is easy, but does that teach them self-control? Screentime is a huge opportunity for parents to teach their kids self-control. So rather make use of this opportunity.

Buy An Alarm Clock

What does an alarm clock have to do with screentime? Believe me… A lot!

A lot of people, including kids, go on their mobile phones to check social media when they get into bed. And this is bad for a few reasons:

  1. You are spending more time on your phone.
  2. The brightness of the screen at night aren’t good for your eyes.
  3. It interferes with your sleeping patterns.

A good habit is to put your mobile phone in another room at night when you go to bed. You can do this as a family whereby everyone, including the parents, put their phones in a basket before going to bed. Maybe mom or dad can have their phone with them in the room in case of an emergency. But other than that, keep the phones outside the bedroom at night and get everyone an old school alarm clock to get up in the morning.

Create Mobile Free Times

I grew up in an era without mobile phones and social media. I went through school without a mobile phone or even knowing what a selfie is. For me to imagine what time without a mobile phone would be is easy, because I have experienced it before. Today’s kids haven’t. Phones and social media is a part of their life. It is a lot more difficult for them to imagine a world without it.

So help them experience these moments regularly.

What do I mean by that? Well, create moments every day or week where no phones are aloud. For example bedtime as mentioned in my previous point. Another example is that no phones are aloud during dinner time. Go to the movies as a family and everyone must leave their phones at home. There are many ways you can implement this, but it is important that your kids experience life without a mobile phone. That they can actually exist and live life without it.

If your kids can taste and experience a life without mobile phones and social media, they might start to use it less.

Set limits (A great trick for parents)

We all know how kids think. If you tell them not to do something, they will do it behind your back. So telling them they can’t be on any social media platforms, or have any games installed on their phones to limit their screentime will mean only one thing. They will do it behind your back.

So give your kids the freedom to be on any social media platform that they want, but with one condition. They can only have 1 social media platform (including WhatsApp) installed on their phone. All the other platforms they can access on the family computer at any time. Your kids will feel that they have the freedom to use all platforms and that they have the power to choose what platform to be on their phone. You are not withholding anything from them, you are simply limiting their access.

You will soon see that your kids will find it to much of an effort to go to the family computer and check all their social media platforms. They will end up only using the one they use the most. And they will make sure that app is installed on their phones.

Be An Example

It is important that you as the parent set an example to your kids when it comes to screentime. It is no use you want your kids to be less dependent on their phones, but they see you on your phone 24/7. Live by every rule that you set for them. Show them by example how these rules should be implemented.

These are only 5 ways to control your kids’ screentime. Feel free to share your ideas and what has worked for your family in the comments below.

Happy parenting.


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