It can be difficult to limit your child’s screen time, especially if you and your family already spend a lot of time in front of the television or computer. The benefits of getting away from the screen are worth the effort, and by creating new household rules and small changes in everyone’s routine, you can control screen time and its effects.
- Become familiar with webpages that attract your children; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Learn how to block objectionable material.
- Spend time online together; teach your child what appropriate online behavior is and what is unacceptable.
- Share an email account with younger children, that way you can monitor who is sending them messages.
- Bookmark your child’s favorite sites, so they are less likely to make a typo and land on an inappropriate site.
- Keep the computer in a common area to watch and monitor what your child is viewing.
- Look at the ratings on video games before you purchase one. Look up reviews and preview games to ensure they aren’t too graphic, violent, or inappropriate.
- Choose video games that encourage physical activity, and do them as an entire family.
- Monitor how video games affect your children. If they seem aggressive after playing a game, discuss the game and help them understand how the violence in games is not real.