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5 tips to get the kids to take a screen break

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

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5 tips to get the kids to take a screen break

Many of us are firmly attached to our iPads, laptops and smart phones, and sometimes a reminder to take a screen break is well overdue.

Try these handy tips to help lure your kids (and the rest of the family) back into the real world...

1. be a role model

If you're scrolling through your Instagram feed over dinner, the kids are sure to pick up that this is a normal thing for them to do, too. Likewise, leaving the TV on for background noise may create the impression that it's totally normal for it to be on all of the time.

2. Set limits early on

If you have very young children, try to enforce limits early on – for example, no screen time an hour before bed (especially since bright screens tend to disrupt quality sleep). Better yet, if possible, don't allow screens in their bedrooms at all.

3. hide the tv 

Apply that 'out of sight, out of mind' theory to screens around the home. Consider keeping your TV in a closed cabinet, or stashing that iPad away in a drawer between uses. Make other activities (board games, crayons, paper and toys) more accessible. 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. With separate dining rooms becoming increasingly unfashionable (and open-plan living evermore common), it's all too easy to wind up eating a bowl of pasta on the sofa again. Get the kids to set the dining table each day and save those TV dinners for weekends. Plus, it's a great way of hearing how everyone's day has been!

 

5. Use parental controls 

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

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. While not everyone will agree with the idea of demanding passwords for your kids' social media accounts, you could compromise on 'friending' them (so you can keep a beady eye on what they're up to!)

Avoid screen time and stock up on some fun games and toys instead; find everything you need online, or pop into your local store.