It’s a struggle to balance making kids happy and entertained while also ensuring they follow the rules of COVID-19 social distancing. Covid-19 has made us rethink it all.
It can be upsetting to have been stuck at home for months, particularly for kids who are so used to playing with friends. Self-isolation and social distance have left them with no choice but to look for opportunities at home. It has increased their time on screens, studying, following passions, trying new things, and interacting with friends and extended family.
Continue reading to know how to handle kids’ screen time during the lockdown.
How To Handle Kids Screen Time During Lockdown
Many researchers have recently seen that traffic in child apps and digital services has risen considerably after initiatives to separate people from society have been implemented.
However, it is also important to point out that too much on-screen time can have several different effects on the child’s safety and behavior. Time is required to balance things. Here are some tips to handle kids’ screen time during the lockdown.
It is normal for children to spend 20 to 30% more time online on weekends and holidays, but during the coronavirus lockdown, children spend 50-70% more time online.
1. Speak To Your Kid
First of all, educating your kids about how screen time has harmful effects and why reducing screen time is important.
Let them also understand that this is an unusual circumstance and that their increased use of cell phones and laptops is not permitted outside. Remember it is unusual and temporary.
2. Control The Contents
Make sure you protect your kids from watching out for provocative and violent content. Check games, apps, and programs before they’re allowed to view and play. Look for choices that involve your kid, not just to swipe and look at the screen. Parental controls can also be used to monitor the online activities of your children.
3. Schedule Screen Time Limits For Children And Devices
You may feel like your kids are shuffled from one screen to another all day — spending time on smartphones, tablets, laptops, and TVs.
The number of hours a day or week that your children may use devices, the types of devices they may use, and the activities they can do, and the programs they may watch can be limited and implemented.
Speak to your children so that they can begin to understand media literacy and self-regulation. It’s also a perfect way to learn what they want to do online, as well as to recommend new TV shows and games for them to check out. You can plan a regular, screen-free family night.
4. Set Guidelines For Social Media Use
For teens, social media can be challenging. On the one side, it will help to improve relationships. On the other hand, they can also be distracted from in-person communication, possibly lead to low self-esteem and cyberbullying.
Social media’s impacts differ considerably. It can be helpful to work on a group project through Google Hangouts or to connect with a new friend via Instagram. It isn’t usually a lot of time to scroll through Snapchat for hours or deal with Twitter trolls. Talk to your kids about smart social media habits and the best way to use your devices.
Encourage them to take into account their feelings in social media before, during, and after use. Talk about what makes them feel good or not-so-good. You can help them solve problems, establish social media limits, and use confidentiality and content filters.
What else? What else? By not spending too much time on a smartphone, you can model good habits.
5. Technology Free Zones
This swears a lot of people. It ensures that we establish a free digital zone where children can not use mobile devices. It may occur while you eat or talk. Make sure your children don’t use cell mobile phones at least an hour before they sleep. Children will adhere to the appropriate schedule for on- and off-screen activities.
6. Social Connection
For the present era, that is quite important. The lack of human contact will influence the social development of children. Schedule video calls for conferences, ideas, and activities with friends, cousins, and family members.
7. Educational Screen Time
Screen time isn’t bad at all. Children may use children’s channels, cartoons, and videos of educational material to engage in high-quality screen time. It will develop their comprehension, vocabulary, and language skills.
8. Household Chores
Engage your children for household chores. Give them age-appropriate work can be washing vegetables, making balls of dough, etc. It should make them feel responsible. Make sure you enjoy them too.
9. Provide Alternatives
Since many people are limited to leaving their homes, there are limited alternative activities. “It would be really beneficial to offer a home space to read, compose, exercise and stretch, etc.” If you would like your child to use their time like this, start these activities with screen time as a reward. For example, “If you read 15 minutes, 15 minutes of the iPad is permitted.” It will also allow your child to understand that tablets are a treat like ice cream or fast food they enjoy. It can also be helpful to draw up a calendar of activities on and off their tablets for the day or the week ahead. Healthy food, breaks, exercise, sleep, reading, and family time, for instance.
10. Label Different Screen Time
Indeed, we should get rid of the phrase “screen time.” Describe the various types of ‘screen time’ children can use – for instance, schools, games, family calls, and video time. This allows children to distinguish between the various functions of their gadgets and prioritize them. The overall objective is to make your child aware that screening for academic activities is a priority and takes place over longer periods of the day, while playback and videos can be limited. Under such an unprecedented global situation, there are no formal guidelines for this. Decide what works best for you as a family when you ‘re especially busy as a parent at a certain point in the day, plan it to be your child’s best time on a screen, and do not stress it if it is longer than what’s normally allowed.
These are the ways to handle kids’ screen time during the lockdown.
Try to do some work as a family. Educate your children on different interesting subjects like science and technology or general awareness.
Also Read: 10 Skills To Teach The Kids During Lockdown