Children of all ages would love to stare at screens all day long, except when they need a snack food break. Most of us parents wish the screens would disappear all together, except when we’re trying to cook dinner!
This all or nothing approach will keep our families stuck in both parent and child having media time meltdowns. Below are five simple keys to avoiding these screen time showdowns:
- Establish and communicate to your child who is older than age two (children under two should mostly not be in front of a screen), a clear and consistent limit of one to two hours of screen time a day and when their screen time can occur.
- Inform your child about the parental controls you are attaching to his electronics and then discuss with your child the other family rules concerning type of material that is appropriate for him to view and to play.
- Clearly present to your child the consequences of not following through with the above screen time rules. Always remember to follow through with these consequences in a calm and consistent manner.
- Make sure that your behavior with your own screen time models the television, computer and video game playing behavior you expect from your child.
- Model, encourage and engage your child in discovering other forms of entertainment such as reading, playing a sport, board games and other hobbies.