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5 tips to encourage the kids to take a screen break

Try these tricks to limit your children's TV and gaming time

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5 tips to encourage the kids to take a screen break

We're guessing we're not the only ones firmly attached to our iPads, laptops, and smartphones – those devices sure are addictive! 

Whether we're keeping in touch with friends and family, homeschooling, or getting stuck into a new game, screentime quickly mounts up.

If it's becoming more of an issue in your home, consider trying these handy tips to lure your kids (and the rest of the family) away from the digital world...

1. be a good role model

If you're scrolling through your Instagram feed over dinner, the kids may well follow suit. Likewise, leaving the TV on for background noise could easily give them the impression that it's totally routine for it to be on all of the time. Gently nudge everyone to leave their phones elsewhere while tucking into dinner – and save telly for a post-meal treat.

2. Set limits from the offset

If you have very young children, you could try to set some limits early on – for example, no screen time an hour before bed (especially since bright screens tend to disrupt that much-needed quality sleep). If you want to take a more extreme approach, you might even ban screens in bedrooms completely (be prepared for a fight, though!).

3. hide the tv 

Apply that 'out of sight, out of mind' theory to screens around the home. How? You could keep your TV in a closed cabinet, or stash the iPad away in a drawer between uses. And make other activities - like board games, crayons, paper and toys - more visible and accessible. Hey, it's worth a try!

4. Limit tv dinners

As tempting as it may be, try to not get into the habit of always eating in front of the telly. It's all too easy to wind up eating a bowl of pasta on the sofa again (and again). But make tv dinners an occasional treat on weekends. You could get the kids involved in setting the table each weekday – and get the conversation flowing over dinner!

 

5. Use parental controls 

Did you know that, as a parent, you can limit which shows, games, and movies your kids have access to? What a gamechanger! 

With any device (iPad, iPhone, laptops, games consoles) it's possible to enable restrictions. Check out apps like NetNanny, which blocks apps and filters web content on any device and any network. Qustodio actually tracks and controls how much time your kids are using their devices. 

Avoid screen time and stock up on some fun games and toys instead; find everything you need online.