At HTC, we’re always happy to offer suggestions for entertainment using our Internet services, but research shows that too much screen time isn’t good for anyone – especially kids. According to a Mayo Clinic pediatrician, the right amount of screen time (approximately 2 hours) is healthy and appropriate . To manage the number of hours your kids spend watching YouTube, playing video games, and staring at a screen this summer, follow these tips.
Set Rules Early
Any tired parent welcomes a mesmerizing TV show when we just need a break from corralling a busy toddler, but it’s important to keep in mind that screen habits picked up early will continue as children grow. If you set restrictions now – such as one episode of Sesame Street while you fix breakfast, and then turn the TV off – your young child won’t expect to be able to sit in front of a screen for hours as they get older.
Schedule Outdoor Activities
Before school’s out, try to put some things on your summer calendar that will take place outside and guarantee to keep your kids moving. Yard games with family, a soccer camp, swimming with friends, or a trip to the zoo are just a few suggestions. You can even ask your kids to research on the Internet the activities they would like to do and see. It is an easy way to make screen time educational and fun!
Make a Reward Chart
If you schedule screen time as a reward, create a chore chart to make the kids earn it. Let’s say taking out the trash and making their beds gets 20 minutes of screen time, while putting their laundry away and loading the dishwasher equals 30 minutes. If you want to encourage them to do something active before using HTC Internet with their gaming console for 45 minutes, write down that they first have to take the dog for a long walk or play outside with their little brother for an hour!
Limit Where They Can Use Their Devices
Too much electronics usage can reduce physical activity and slow development of conversation and social skills. To encourage your kids to talk to the rest of the family, ban electronic devices from being used at the dinner table whether at home or in a restaurant. And if you want them to interact with grandparents during weekend visits instead of staring at their screens, keep electronics in the car.
Setting productive parameters for your child’s devices this summer is a smart way to ensure a summer of fun, activity and learning!