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Starting small: Baby steps to implementing a screen time routine in your child’s life

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Have you ever wanted to implement screen time rules for your family, but simply didn’t know where to begin? How do you establish a routine to manage screen time when it’s already such a huge part of your child’s daily life? In this article, I will share 3 simple tips that you can carry out easily to manage your children’s consumption of electronic devices.

1. Enforce a limit on screen time

Children need structure and routine in their life, and part of that includes knowing how much time they are allowed to spend on digital devices every day.

Begin by planning how much screen time you are going to let each child have. If you are lost and have no idea where to even begin, you can follow the current WHO guidelines on screen time management. They recommend no screen time for babies under 1, 1 hour maximum of screen time daily for children aged 1 to 5, and a maximum 2 hours for children older than 5.

Putting structure and routine is just the first step, the most important part is ensuring that children stick to the time limit you set. Don’t be afraid to enforce this limit – consistency is key, and children are adaptable. They will get used to having lesser screen time and will find other activities to engage in.

But how can you be sure that you are consistently enforcing this daily screen time allowance — so that one hour really means one hour? Here is where screen time management apps can come in really handy. If you use planoApp, you can even schedule specific periods of no screen time for your child.

2. No devices in the bedroom

Here is another rule you should enforce – keep all digital devices out of your child’s bedroom. Night-time should strictly be for sleeping, not staying up late hiding under the covers to watch another episode of Paw Patrol. Sleep is super important for growing children, so this is the best way you can help your children to get a good night’s rest.

3. Strictly no devices at mealtimes

And that goes for you too! Children always imitate their parents, so if you are watching a show while eating your meal, chances are, that’s what they will want to do too! Set a good example for your children and they will follow suit. Instead, use mealtimes to connect more with your family, share about your day or even play a few fun family games!

It is never too late to begin inculcating good screen time habits in yours and your children’s lives. These habits will follow them as they grow up, so it is better to start young. And remember, change begins with you! Set a good example for your children and healthy behaviours will automatically follow.

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