Managing the Screens

By Leslie Hwang 2023-07-25 14:26:17

Parenting kids about screen time.

This generation, born with a cell phone, is accustomed to technology Before giving birth, I would have liked to show my future kids lively fish instead of Baby Sharks from Pinkpong or make them roll in the snow instead of watching Pororo.

But, the reality is different from what I thought. The magic screen makes the crying baby stop for a second. I only briefly scan advertisments aimed at my kids' attention. It has brought me sweet relaxing time from constantly caring for me babies.

As a mother, screens are an incredible tool, but I started worrying about how it affects children like a sponge. If we think on this topic deeply, we might need a few days for discussion. However, I would focus on how screen time impacts children and how we make guidelines for them peacefully.

I am a strict mom about screen time. My kids do not have more screen time than others, and I follow our rules. They don't have any screen time on weekdays, but they can enjoy it on weekends for two hours. They must complete their homework during the weekdays before having their valuable screen time.

Luckily, I am now able to stop saying, 'Do your homework' all the time. Hooray, it has taken six years to build this virtuous circle. 

Of course, screens offer many positives. But the younger the child, the more serious the negative effects on physical and mental health.

If my kids stay home clinging to their electronic devices, they might miss vigorous daily physical activity. Not only does this contribute to healthy bones and body growth, but they also learn social skills, such as negotiation, communication, and emotional health. We have to let them take a break form the screens during this pivotal development moment.

I recommend these handy tips to protect kids and manage screen time.


1. A deal is a deal

When family members agree with the rules, they should keep their word. It is a big challenge for parents and kids because we face many obstacles that break our contract. 

Also, the deal must be detailed. For example, the children can watch videos but not all types of videos. Parents give them guidelines about programs based on their ages.


2. Kids are the best observers

Children spend most of thier time with family members, and the parents are the most vital influencers on their children. Kids can notice very detailed traits in our behavior even if we don't want to expose them. 

Like our kids who love to have time with digital devices, we parents are also entertained by all of social media, the latest shows, music, and some stupid videos in our palms. It would only be possible to persuade kids of self control if we control our own smartphones first.


3. Let the kids have alternative options

If you want to control their screen time, don't leave them to stand in the desert in their free time. You have to replace it with enjoyable activities, such as playing board games, going to the playground, or giving them materials to explore. 

Since my family has agreed to our family rules, I offered my kids a garage instead of a screen. As both my kids are born to be builders, they made something fantastic with recycled materials and called it a masterpiece. Thanks to their projects, the garage is covered with thousands of tidbits, and I can't handle the place at all. But I don't miss the garage anymore. For us, it was a good deal swapping screen time with a garage.