How to Limit Your

Child's Screen Time

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Phones, tablets and smart TVs… where would we be without them?

Devices are now a part of our everyday lives, and even the littlest members of our families can use them with ease.

The bad news is that parents find it harder than ever to control the amount of time kids and teenagers spend on tablets and phones. Nearly a third admit they struggle to control their preschooler’s screen time.

While going online can have a lot of educational and social benefits, it’s essential to ensure it doesn’t take over your child’s day. If you want to put guidelines in place, below are our top tips for reducing your children’s screen time. 

What are the screen time recommendations?

There’s a lot of conflicting information online about how much screen time children and teenagers should have. By screen time, we mean not only time spent on tablets and phones, but watching television and playing video games.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that children under two years old have no screen time at all and that children under five have less than one hour a day.

However, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) has disputed this. It advises screen time should be determined by a child’s individual needs, what they are watching/doing and whether screen time displaces other activities like sleep and exercise.

How to limit your children’s screen time

Whether you’ve bought your little one their first tablet and want to set expectations, or you need to unplug your kids from their phones, here are our top tips.

Set guidelines

It’s important to set boundaries and stick to them. By laying down the rules as soon as possible, your kids will know what’s acceptable and what isn’t.

Look at how your children use their devices and work with that as a starting point. For example, if you notice your teen is cranky in the morning, say they can’t take their phone to bed. If your kid is completing their homework at the last minute, no tablet until they’ve finished their schoolwork.

Practice what you preach

If you’re guilty of spending hours on Pinterest or chatting to your friends on WhatsApp, you need to lead by example. By using your phone and tablet less, your kids will follow suit.

Organise some fun activities that will help you all forget about your phone notifications. For example, plan a board game night, take a trip to the seaside or plan a scavenger hunt around the home.

Create device-free zones

Setting device-free areas around the house can be a quick win when reducing screen time. For example, you can say no phones or tablets around the dinner table or in the bathroom.

Remember you have to follow the rules too – no taking photos of your meals or playing Wordle on the toilet!

Download an app or set up parental controls

There are many apps available that can limit the amount of time your kids spend online. These apps let you set screen time and even reward good behaviour with extra minutes online.

Some of our favourites include Qustodio, OurPact and Screentime. Most charge a monthly or annual subscription, but you can get a free trial to see if they work for you.

You can also set up parental controls on your kid’s devices. This lets you restrict websites, block certain apps and view their online activity. If you’re not sure how to set up parental access on your kid’s devices, we’ve put together a guide to help.

Take an interest in what they’re doing

We often use our devices out of a habit – something to look at when we’re bored or have some free time. Half of teens admit to feeling addicted to their phones.

By asking your kids why they want to go online, you can see if there’s something else they can do instead.

This strategy is great as it opens up a dialogue about technology. By learning more about what your children like most about their devices, they’ll be more likely to come to you with questions about tech in the future.

Keep your clan safe with Fibre Heroes

As parents, it’s only natural we want to protect our kids from the dangers of the outside world. If you want to keep them safe from malware and hackers, full fibre can be an excellent investment.

Full fibre broadband is much more secure than traditional copper broadband, meaning you can rest safe knowing your brood’s personal data is in good hands.

Not only this, but full fibre broadband is faster and more reliable too – perfect when everyone is live streaming from their tablets!

Visit our broadband checker and see when we’ll be installing broadband in your town.

 

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