In a digital world, we are finding ourselves more and more on screens. We’re talking about television screens, computers, laptops, tablets, and even phone screens. It can be hard to disconnect from these since a lot of what we do for work, school, and social activities take place in front of a screen.
So how can we better monitor our screen times and our kid’s screen time? Let’s dive in!
Monitoring Screen Time Using Apps
Oddly enough, some smartphones now have Apps or features within their settings that let you know how long you’ve been using the device. They also may have features that allow you to set times on your phone or tablet where your notifications and calls are silenced. This feature helps you focus on what you are doing instead of getting distracted by notifications, calls, or text messages.
Being Mindful of your Screen Time
Another option is keeping track of the amount of time you spend on screens. You can create a method of tracking how often you use screens and how long you spend across different devices. This information can help you be mindful of the time you’re spending throughout your day in front of a screen. Think about your valuable time and what else you could be doing with your time.
Which takes us to the next big question: What can you do to cut back on screen time?
Scheduling your Screen Time
Create a schedule for when screen time is ok and when it is not. This can be great for an individual and for a family because it can help encourage more family time or other activities. During the times that screen time is allowed, the entire family can use their favorite devices. But, when screen time is not allowed, you can promote movement activities, family activities, games, or anything that keeps you and your kids entertained and away from screens.
How Does Monitoring Screen Time Affect Kids?
With so many options available on screens, like shows, games, and movies, it can be hard for kids to move away from screens. Using a schedule can help kids know and see when they can use screens and when they can’t. It can also help to think about the activities available when screen time is not an option. Making these activities fun and enjoyable is more likely going to help pull kids away from screens.
I think an important consideration when scheduling screen time is your schedule as a parent/caregiver and what you need to go get done. Practicality is key and you can utilize screen time to help you with what you need to do. For example, you can schedule screen time when you are cooking. This is usually a time when you may not be able to provide full attention to your kid(s). But it is important you know where they are and what they are doing and can keep an eye on them.
Monitoring and scheduling screen time will look different for every individual and family. Find what works, be consistent, and be flexible and adaptable as kids get older or dynamics change.
Disclaimer: The information and content in this blog and any links and materials are not intended to be and should not be construed or substituted as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician and or other qualified healthcare professionals with any questions you may have.