Online schooling has been the better choice of schooling method for us this year. It is our first time trying it and it has a lot of favorable advantages. It also comes with some disadvantages. One of them is the increased screen time of our kids which we are trying to keep at a minimum.
We read some studies that tells how much using phones and tablets make kids cranky, giving them the feeling of being tired but not sleepy. It also disrupts focus and basically lacking physical movement. To help control it, we rolled out a process on how they can “earn” screen time. Of course this does not include the school screen time.
The process I am talking about is the use of “coupons” which they can earn by doing tasks independently such as: taking a bath, making bed, feeding pets, etc. Each coupon earns them 10 minutes of screen time.
It worked well for us. The kids bought the idea and abide by it. We rarely go about the argument of getting more screen time once their coupons for the day are all used up.
My wife and I had several conversations on lessening screen time for us and for our kids as well. The goal is to spend more time interacting face-to-face and without distractions.
We have recently started practicing less cellphone use at home by depositing our mobile phones to a designated area. And when we sleep, our phones are stored away from the bed, out of easy reach and on Do Not Disturb mode. By doing this, we have enjoyed our weekends more and slept better and longer. We played with our kids more in our backyard and has been – well, always working on it – creative on the games and activities that would tick the interest of our toddlers and at the same time contribute to their learning and development.
The time freed up from staying away from our phones and T.V. already gave us a lot of room to do other things. Interestingly, on top of achieving the goal of more face-to-face interactions and the plus points from getting better sleep, and being more physically active, we have noticed a lot more positive results on our kids. They have become more attentive, more patient and more caring towards each other.
Now, I’m no expert to say how spending less screen time really affects a kids behavior, happiness or their developing brain, but I’m liking the results so we’ve decided to continue on.
Have you tried establishing less screen time at home? Or are you more of a traditional who implements a limited time for T.V. and gadget use at home? Please let me know your experience around this topic in the comments. I’d like to hear your thoughts.
Oh yeah, I found this link below which I thought is also worth sharing.