Limiting screen time for kids is a challenge at any time of day. However, when you’re on a break from school – whether at home or on holiday – it can be hard to commit to limiting screen time for kids when it allows you to enjoy a morning coffee in peace, or buys you a little time in the mornings.
Research shows that kids now spend up to 6 hours with screens per day – whether that’s the TV, tablet or something else. Health studies indicate that those who have a higher screen time are also likely to be more overweight, have less energy and be less motivated for activities, schoolwork and everyday events.
Your self-catering holiday, or throughout the whole duration of the next half term, is a great time to implement a change and commit to limiting screen time for kids. The best tip from parenting experts is to communicate your tech-free trip to your kids, get them excited about alternative activities and tell them why you’re going to be leaving certain items at home (or in drawers).
Lead By Example
Going away, or even enjoying a family-friendly staycation, is an exciting time. It’s a time for relaxing and enjoying bonding time with your loved ones. Kids also lead by example, subconsciously. They follow and imitate those around them. Put your phone away, and limit how much you use it throughout your entire break. Use it to communicate and to take pictures, but consciously avoid picking it up. This will show how much you do not rely on it, particularly if you are bored.
Plan Alternative and Exciting Activities
Tech and screen time are a go-to because they’re easy and kill time. Plan your days more creatively and get excited about other things – they don’t have to be expensive – to occupy their time. Whilst you’re away, it’s the perfect time to develop new habits – especially because there is so much to see and do. This is especially true at our South Devon Holiday Park, as we plan so much for everyone to get involved in, and there’s no need for tech.
Stop Using Tech As A Reward
Using tech as a reward for good behaviour sends the wrong message, according to parenting experts. It tells children that technology and screen time is something to be sought after. To start limiting screen time for children, think up new, positive incentives – such as going to the park – to acknowledge and support good behaviour.
Have a Screen Bed Time
Limiting screen time for kids during the holidays can be extremely hard because they have so much free time. A lot of parents also use tablets or TV to calm children down before they go to sleep. However, research shows that everyone, in particular children, can suffer from blue light and poor stimulation before bed. Throughout the school holidays, introduce a screen bedtime, at least an hour before your child goes to sleep. Try reading stories and quiet, calming play before bed for quality stimulation and a little bit of extra bonding time.
Practice & Encourage Healthy Tech Habits
If you’re lucky enough to be going away – or even just planning quality time at home – introduce new, healthier ways to use tech. For example, using the camera and getting creative with making movies, bringing your outdoor adventures to life when you’re indoors, and extending the experience! This is a great way to use technology safely and creatively.
Also, try to practice spaces where screen time is okay. For example, downstairs or communal living spaces only. This helps children to mentally draw a line and implement boundaries with their screen time.
Here at Welcome Family, we believe that the best way to limit screen time for kids is to get them involved and give them alternative stimulation. Your time at our action-packed holiday park can help get you off to a fantastic start! Book your break, today!