Did you know kids emulate us? They tend to copy everything we do. When as parents we spend most of our time on our phones and online, scrolling without any productive reason. Isn’t it the same thing we scold our children for? They have a high screen time because they are bored. We show them through example that when we are bored, there is nothing better to do than scroll on the phone. How then do we expect them to reduce your screen time, when we can’t reduce ours?
As parents, we have to realize that what we do rubs off on our children. To encourage them to leave their phones and do something more productive and worthwhile, we too have to lead from the front.
Why the need to reduce?
In-depth research has started showing the increase in loneliness and depression rates caused due to excessive social media and screen usage. The stress level in people with high screen time is much more than those with low screen time. Screen time is not just detrimental to mental health, but also physical health, mainly the eyes. The need to reduce screen time can benefit nor just mentally, but also make you spend your time more productively.
How to reduce screen time?
- Switch off your notifications
- Download screen time monitoring apps
- Do not keep your phone near your bed. Switch off the data
- Turn on night mode after dinner to avoid social media because of lack of colors
- Start making calls instead of long text conversations
- Have a screen-free zone in your house, where screens aren’t allowed.
How to use the reduced screen time without falling for screen time again?
- Spend time with your kids- You can start a new game, play existing board games, tickle them, talk to them, have a LEGO challenge, anything constructive with the kids.
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- Start reading out loud to your kids- Reading out loud not only helps you bond with the kids, but increases their interest in stories, makes their imagination better, and is a fun time.
- Sort the homework of your children- our incessant scrolling often takes away productive time from us. We end up not doing important tasks like getting out children to finish homework, supervising their studies, and their class timings.
- Make dishes with them, start cooking to increase the fun time.
Apart from time spent with kids, things that you should do for yourself when you reduce screen time:-
- Pursue a hobby- be it reading, dancing, writing, cooking, gardening anything. Keep your phone down and use the time to create some beautiful time for yourself. It will be satisfying and fulfilling.
- Talk to your partner, spend quality time with them. Most of our relationships are boring or unidimensional. That is because we have stopped talking to each other, stopped listening to each other. Keep the phone down and concentrate on your partner.
- Start any physical activity- from yoga, meditation, morning walks, or any other form of exercise. It not only helps you keep fit, but it also helps regulate good hormones.
Life is good when we avoid the addiction of incessantly scrolling and looking at our phones for no reason. We have to control ourselves of our habit of hanging on to our phone and reinvesting the time elsewhere. Let’s make our life more productive.