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This is how you can limit your child’s screen time

It is no brainer that not regulating the time with electronics may keep your child quiet. But, too much screen-time is a strict no-no for kids.  Too much screen-time can invite dozens of health problems like obesity, may encourage violent behaviour, and to top it all, children may become anti-social too. Here, we lay-down few vital tricks to help you limit the screen time of your child.

Has your kid become a disconnected zombie? Does your child refuse to eat food, or go to school, just because he/she wants to watch the favourite cartoon? Is your child giving you a tough time due to the constant usage of TV, I-pad or phone? Then, you must immediately take some measures to limit the screen time. This is so because cutting down on the screen time which tends to include TV, videos, DVDs, video games and computers is essential for the growth and development of the child. Moreover, your little one will also be able to stay active, hale and hearty.

Parents, follow these guidelines to ensure that your kids are not glued to the gadgets:

  1. Set a proper schedule- Parents should see to it that they choose to set a specific daily duration and time for their kids. Make sure that your child follows the timings and the duration. Going overboard is not advisable. You can use a timer to keep a track of time.

  1. How about creating technology-free zone? – Parents, you MUST try to establish technology-free zones in your house. Smart phones, laptops or I-pads shouldn’t be allowed in the dining and bedroom. Doing so can help your child and you to have a meaningful conversation, spend quality time and strengthen the bond. Furthermore, you can also consider digital detox (this can be described as a period during which one avoids using a mobile phone, computer, and other electronic gadgets because usually one uses these devices too much). So, parents do it immediately, and you can thank us later!

  1. Get to know about the electronic gadgets your child uses- Owing to the social media advancement and craze, children are tech-savvy today, and know about electronics. Hence, for parents, it is the need of the hour to upgrade with the technology. This will help you to explain your child about the potential risks of social media. Unless you understand the ratings, you will be able to prevent your child from playing those violent games. Thus, you must learn and educate yourself about the technology and get to know how it can affect your children. Noting down the programmes watched by your children can be a good idea.

  1. Encourage your kids to take up other interesting activities- Nowadays, children easily get hooked to electronic gadgets. So, to help them lead a healthy life, motivate them to take up various activities like gardening, reading, playing sports, and music. This will help children to learn something new. Remember that screen time should be a privilege and not a right.

By Dr Jagdish Kathwate, Consultant, Paediatrics & Neonatology, Motherhood Hospitals, Pune


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