Thursday, 1st June 2023

How to limit screen time during this holiday

By Ijeoma Thomas-Odia
24 July 2021   |   3:22 am
The holidays are upon us. Schools are winding down the academic session and kids will have ample time to do less schoolwork.

The holidays are upon us. Schools are winding down the academic session and kids will have ample time to do less schoolwork. However, a lot of us struggle to limit screen time especially during the holiday season as this.

With too much time on hands and kids getting bored every now and again, there is a tendency to succumb to uncontrolled access to screen time, says child psychologist and parenting coach, Dr. Vivian Okoye.

“We already know that too much screen is not good for the kids or even for you as it will over-stimulate your child, affect their prefrontal cortex which makes them less regulated, affect sleep cycle and even affect overall behavior.”

The founder of Vivian Okoye parenting academy noted that excess screen time could be responsible for hyper activity and too many tantrums in kids, which in turn makes parenting a herculean task.

So many times, we think screens help us keep the kids but in reality it eventually doubles our work as it leaves us with over stimulated and dysregulated kids. Hence, it is wiser to gradually raise and groom our kids to have a regulated screen time.

Dr. Okoye however listed a few tips that can help parents achieve a balanced screen time this holiday season where kids are prone to being fixed on their TV sets, ipads or laptops. Now, this is not to scare you, if you have been overindulging on screens, there is ample time to make that change and bring out the best in your kids and parenting journey.

Have a family conversation: You should definitely start by having this as an important conversation. Make the kids understand the need to reduce screen. Also, make them understand that the screen is a right not a privilege.

Come up with a routine around screen: Using the ‘when and then’ routine helps a lot. For instance, when you brush your teeth, take your bath, do your chores and do some independent play or read a book, then you can have 30mins of screentime.

Create a holiday flow in your home: Don’t totally let go of the routines. You can relax on early morning routine but still provide structure for the kids as it helps them stay stable and behave better. Create alternative activities to screen. Outdoor plays, arts and crafts, creative writing and more.

Enforce the screen time: Your kids will test your limit but it is your duty to keep the boundary by enforcing and following through. Learn to stand your ground, keep your words and stay by them.

Be a good example: You can’t be a screen addict and limit your children’s screen.

Truth is, we have all become addicted to these little screens on our hands. Be more conscious this holiday. Put the phone down and spend present time with your kids. There is a lot you can learn from your kids and vice verse if only you pay close attention to them, this is further help in understanding each other better.

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