If you’re worried about your child gaming excessively and becoming addicted to their TV, gaming consoles or devices, there are some strategies you can use to help manage their screen time to allow their brains to slow down and learn how to focus on tasks without any distractions.
Reducing screen time is important because it also improves the ability to focus, regulate emotions, and organising thoughts and duties. With these 5 steps, you can set limits and boundaries around your kids’ use of technology to ensure that their screen time doesn’t get out of hand.
Set a schedule
By allocating specific times or durations where your children are allowed to play with their gaming devices, or watch TV, you teach them how to regulate themselves and their routines. Ultimately, just like everything else in life, moderation is key!
Make room for binge days
As we said, balance is everything. That’s why you can choose to dedicate a day or two where your kids have more freedom than other days with their gaming, TV or technology time. This can also be handled as some sort of reward scheme. Example: A good grade at school can be rewarded with more time allocated to console gaming.
Limit screen time with dedicated apps
A great way to monitor and control your child’s use of technology is by using a screen time management app. These indicate which apps are being used, for how long, and by whom, making it easier for parents to set boundaries.
Ask them to justify their use
Whenever your child approaches you to use one of their devices, always ask them ‘why?’. This avoids your kid from turning to devices simply out of habit, and encourages them to think of other things they can do.
Turn off any auto-play options
It’s easy for your kids to get hooked onto apps like YouTube or Netflix if the next video starts playing automatically. So turn it off! Go to the app’s settings and turn off any auto-play features to help control your kid’s screen time.
If you know someone who’s really struggling with their gaming addiction, you can reach out to RGF’s supportline on 1777, or contact them anonymously through their chatline on www.rgf.org.mt