We all have heard the studies that show that excessive screen time is not good for kids but how do you go about it for your addicted child? 

Let’s talk about some practical strategies to help you; 

  • Talk to them: Give them a warning before you start to cut it back. “Hey baby, so mummy noticed that you watch a lot of TV, I know you love your programs but mummy loves you more and wants to spend time with you, so from tomorrow we will start cutting back the time you spend watching tv so we can hang out, okay?” Or use a line that involves you telling them that too much tv is not good for them and you want what is best for them.

  • Take away personal devices; if they have a personal device, take it away and use the TV, while it is a good strategy it also helps for them to know you are in control of when it comes on and when it goes off however with a personal device, they own it and there is a risk of them staying longer than necessary if the adults are watching their own TV. 

  • Cut back on the hours one day at a time; What is the maximum time they spend daily? From the next day start cutting it down till you get to the number of hours you are happy with, ensure you give them warnings before the TV goes off. “You have 30 mins left and the TV goes off” and on and on till it’s time.

  • As your child continues to get used to the new habit of not requesting for TV, ensure you reward them. Reward doesn’t have to be like sweets or anything a simple acknowledgement, “I noticed you’ve not asked for Tv for a few hours, way to go darling” or give a high five, anything that shows that you notice the new behaviour can be a reward. 

  • Now give a designated TV time that they will look forward to and stick with it. If you want to do one hour daily - stick with it. If you want to do once a week - just stay consistent so they can look forward to it! 

  • Have alternative activities in hand; Books, crafts, water play, free play, outdoor play etc. have alternative activities for your child to engage in when the tv or tab goes off.
It’s important to note that it’s not going to happen as easy as 123 like I just stated here but you can begin the journey, you’d meet with a lot of tantrums and defiance but you got to stick to your guns and look at the end goal! 

I hope this helps you to reduce screen time for your kids. 

Please let me know how it goes Follow me on Instagram @thecuddleblog let's connect