You cannot deny the fact that the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the world it used to be. Isn’t it? The pandemic has forced governments worldwide to enforce school closure as the containment strategy. With this, virtual learning and digital learning have played a significant role in ensuring class continuity.

But what about the other issues that parents face? The main concern for the parents is that kids are using screens – from smartphones and TVs to laptops, tablets, and computers – at least 50% more than before the pandemic.

With the pandemic being around for more than a year, setting rules around screen time is next to impossible. There is nothing like TOO MUCH! Does remote learning count in screen time? What about playing online games with friends?

Are you, as a parent, too exhausted to fight about the kids’ screen time? No matter how exhausted you are, I am sure you are worried too about an increased kids’ screen time.

I have brought up together a blog discussing almost everything that highlights the pandemic and kids’ screen time. HERE WE GO

Health risks of excessive screen time

  • Increased screen time replaces a child’s healthy behaviors and habits like sleep and physical activity.
  • It leads to harmful habits like a day-night reversal or reduced sleep, headaches, malnutrition, and neck pain.
  • Excessive online games lead to gaming disorder.

Can you believe the screen time of kids between 5-15 years of age has shot up by 100% since the first lockdown?

Signs of excessive screen time

As parents, you need to recognize signs of excessive screen time in the kids and take immediate action.

  • Increased screen time harms a child’s ability to concentrate and complete school tasks.
  • It harms a kid’s relationships with family and siblings.
  • You will notice significant changes in your kid’s mood or inability to control physical aggression or outbursts on being asked to stop.
  • With an increased screen time, kids begin to prioritize screen time over essential functions like eating, sleeping, outdoor games, and personal hygiene. kids do not even eat a healthy meal. To learn more on healthy diet tips of kids, visit the website.

Ways to reduce screen time

With the virtual classes going on and everything locked down all around owing to the Covid 19, it is next to impossible to keep kids away from the screen entirely. BELIEVE IT OR NOT! Kids and screen are inseparable amid the pandemic’s scenario. But these handheld devices are indeed harmful to their vision. So, there has to be some way out to manage or reduce kids’ screen time. Let us discuss some of them.

Monitor content

It is ok if your kids are spending some time on screen. All you need to do is to be a bit careful as a parent. You need to keep a close eye on the content that they are watching. It is wise for them to stick to the shows that they trust and know. Children should focus more on educational programs that enhance their span of knowledge. It is worth placing more attention on slower-paced shows rather than a super-stimulating cartoon with lots of action.

You can also add variety to kids’ screen content. If the child is watching an educational program in the morning, IT IS OK to let the child watch cartoons or interactive online sessions later. Also, do not let the kids watch explicit content that is beyond their age.

Limit screen time

One of the optimum ways to limit screen time is to keep a fixed schedule. It will be helpful to set a specific time limit of the day when you will allow kids to use the screens. The time will have to be apart from their online class or summer camp. It is because you also have to understand their comfort and entertainment needs amidst the Covid-19 set-up. It is one of the effective ways to limit kids’ screen time.

54% parents state their kids spend up to 5 additional hours in front of a screen.

You can allow kids to use the screen 30 minutes post lunch and dinner. Try to ensure that mealtime is family time and do not allow them to use the screen during that time. This kind of structure will help children to understand what to expect related to using the screen. It will also reduce their requests for screens at all times.

Encourage indoor activities

One of the BEST WAYS to manage kids’ screen time is to encourage indoor activities. Please provide them with more and more exciting storybooks or novels. Spend time with them and engage them in arts & crafts and creative activities. You can also encourage them to play games and solve puzzles like Sudoku and Scrabble.

Read some benefits of connecting kids with Indian culture and tribal art here.

Get them ready to do some physical exercise daily. It is suitable for kids’ physical development and well-being. Such indoor activities will also keep them away from the screen for a significant time. Believe it or not! indoor activities will help you reduce the kids’ screen time.

To know more about indoor activities, you can read this article.

Create technology-free zones

It will help if you create technology-free zones at home. It means that there should be some places in the home where there will be no smartphones, laptops, or iPad. The zone can represent only family time to sit with your child, talk, and relax.

It is your responsibility, as a parent, to spend time with the kid, irrespective of you are working or not. This will be the zone to connect with your child to the fullest. Try to charge your gadgets ways from the technology-free zone. It will reduce the kids’ exposure to the screen.

To find ways to engage kids at home, read this article. 

Educate children

57% of the parents worry that their kids might unknowingly access inappropriate information online and access non-educational content.

AT THIS POINT, where you cannot restrict the kids completely from spending time on the screen, you need to educate children. It is essential to keep the kids informed on ways to use the internet safely. Please make the kids somewhat aware of the cyber fraud that they can get trapped into.

You might be knowing of the various frauds that take place on the internet. Increase the kids’ awareness about misleading advertisements and scams to protect them from internet fraudsters.

Final Words

That is all! Undoubtedly, keeping kids away from the screen is a daunting task. However, the above ways will help you manage the kids’ screen time significantly. Try out the above measures and witness the difference in children’s screen time during the pandemic.