Trick to limit Screen Time – Our little Secret.
Inside: With the motive to limit Screen Time I started following this simple trick. Bonus: Happier kids
I let my daughters sit in front of the computer or any other gadget, that’s because I choose to teach my girls how to balance spending time in front of a gadget in a healthy way in their life.
We must accept that technology is definitely here to stay.
It has opened a world of educational opportunities that didn’t exist a few years back. An active technology and screen time helps in a child’s development and improves his/her learning when used appropriately. It’s a parents job to intentionally teach kids the difference between it’s risks and benefits.
To help your child take full advantage of the new forms of digital learning, it’s important to give them an access to appropriate technology.
I personally feel the responsibility to address the growing issue of digital exclusion. When we believe in learning through technology, we ensure the development of a more inclusive society where the children develop age appropriate 21st century skills.
However at the same time I also acknowledge that the technology doesn’t replace the conventional learning completely.
Here’s why you must limit the screen time:
The truth is that screen Time if not monitored could shut a child’s brain, which is big enough reason to creep out a parent.
I realised quite early that my big muffin wasn’t fun to be around when she would get too much screen time.
I must confess that I did get a little panicky thinking about going cold turkey with screen time for my girls because I did understand that there is a truck load of information out there on the web which will definitely help my girls.
It’s was high time to get creative with limiting the screen time.
So if you ask me how I Teach my girls to balance, here’s the answer:
One find day when I sat down with the Tablet I realised that the poor little innocuous tablet was loaded with over a hundred Children’s Apps.
That was enough to wake me up and take an action.
I decided to do three things:
1. Set a limit
2. Clean up the mess
3. Give a valid explanation
Check out the conversation I had with my elder one (when she was almost 3 yr old), to know how she helped me in setting a limit to her screen time.
I called my big muffin.
Mumma Muffin: “Baby I need to clean up our Tablet a little. I realise we have so many apps installed in this, I’m afraid that the tablet will soon get overtired and stop working.”
I made her sit next to me and asked her pointing at each app if it was fun. If not I made her delete it.
Our Tablet was much lighter, but I wasn’t done yet.
Next day I again called my girl and asked her to help me organise the apps we were left with.
Mumma Muffin: “Have you noticed that some of these Apps use your brain more, like if you read a story or solve math problems?”
She nodded. I was relieved that we were on the same page now.
Mumma Muffin: “So now we would be putting those brain teasing apps in a folder called ‘Smarty Brain Food’. We would put all other apps in another folder and name it ‘Silly Junk Food’. So can you tell me what you know about Junk Food?”
MyBigMuffin: “We aren’t supposed to have it often.” (I’m glad she had the perfect answer to this).
Mumma Muffin: “Yes you are right. Because it isn’t good for your body, right?”
She nodded in agreement, though she for sure looked worried about where we were going with this.
Mumma Muffin: “Apps can be classified similarly. The ones in the Smarty Brain Food folder are good exercise for your brain muscles. However you must not use the Silly Junk Food apps very often because they aren’t good enough for your brain.”
Moment on Truth:
We made two folders in the Tablet: Smarty Brain Food and Silly Junk Food. I then handed over the tablet to my daughter.
Mumma Muffin: “Please tell me now which folder should each app go in, and we will see and discuss if I have a different opinion on this”
After a few hits and misses, by girl got a hang of it.
My little pony? Silly Junk Food
Math for kids? Smarty Brain Food
Subway Surfer? Silly Junk Food
Learning words? Smarty Brain Food
Now we needed to set a Time limit and I needed to explain her why?
Mumma Muffin: “You know right, sometimes after you use the tablet for a while you feel cranky and grumpy?”
MyBigMuffin: “Yes” (Said looking down with a smirk)
Mumma Muffin: “I feel this happens because you get too much Silly Junk Food. Let’s make a rule for when you use these Silly Junk Food apps. Let’s decide on a special time that shouldn’t happen often.”
Mumma Muffin: “Let me show you one trick on this tablet”. I showed her how to use the time app and set it to Twenty minutes.
Did this trick work for us?
My girl no longer is in a grumpy mood post her screen time. Infact she now spends most of her time solving the brain ticklers in her activity book.
You can now download a free printable to help you and your child analyse the apps. This printable can be used to discuss and pen down the brain food and Junk Food apps.
Make sure you let your child analyse the apps first and then you can take over and help her differentiate between the two kinds.
Please remember that Technology is beneficial if we choose to use it to enhance learning and not use it merely for entertainment. If used wisely, it could help create opportunities for some meaningful learning experiences.
I hope this little trick helps you.
How do you limit the screen Time? Share your tip below in the comments section.
If you want to know how I limit the screen time for my girl when she was younger, please do leave a comment down.
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