Over the last 20 years, people have come to consider “screen time” a basic need much like eating, sleeping, or exercise. However the truth is screen time can actually interfere with these basic needs, leaving us and our children overweight, fatigued, and mentally over-stimulated.

Because screens have become a part of our daily life, it is more important than ever to find time to power down. Teaching your children to moderate their screen time will do wonders to help their development, their time management skills, and their productivity.

Here are some ways you can reduce your screen time as a family:

 

Create screen-free zones

Encourage family and/or personal time by not allowing screens (phone, television, computers, etc.) in certain areas of the house such as the bedroom and the kitchen.

 

Establish a “screen schedule”

One very important way to reduce screen time is to establish specific times your child cannot be glued to an electronic device! Experiment to see what works for your family, but remember to leave at least an hour of “wind-down time” before bed.

Post it somewhere everyone can see.

For example…

screen-schedule-new

 

After School Activities

Whether it’s karate, music lessons, art class or a science club – engaging your child in a physical or mental activity will keep their mind, and their eyes, off of their screens.

This can work for you as well! Yoga anyone?

 

No Screens While Eating

Everyone tends to eat more when they are watching TV or on the computer. We call this “mindless eating” and it is dangerous. Taking your lunch to the table or even a quiet place outside could reduce consumption by 228 calories!

 

BONUS!

Remember to be a role model for your child. If you’re not following your screen time rules, your child will have a harder time accepting their importance. Consistency is key!

 Related: Getting Them To Look Up From The Screen: A Parent’s Guide