Screen addiction is a massive problem. An average person will spend 10 hours a day looking at a screen. They would check their phones a minimum of 47 times a day and get easily distracted. Every child, toddler, or teen has to have proper habits to thrive both physically and emotionally.
But, with the currently available tech, they are spending more time on screen than paying attention to their health. Here, we will show you how to make the most of their screen use and create a perfect digital diet.
Why Do You Need a Balanced Digital Diet?
Having a well-balanced digital diet is now a necessity. It may sound intimidating, but it’s more important than you think.
For children, it is an even bigger worry. Teenagers and young kids can spend as little as 44.5 hours every week in front of a computer screen, while 23% of children have reported feeling addicted to video games.
With the help of a digital diet, you show children how to set their priorities straight. You teach them:
- Healthy lifestyle
Unfortunately, the young generation is continually copying their parents or caregivers. If those responsible for them show an addicted behavior to screen time, children will do the same.
Over time, they will form a strong dependence on the screen. However, many do not notice that this addiction affects their health.
To fix a problem, you need a plan. It is imperative to develop healthy digital habits for yourself and your child. We have selected handful of tips to control the screen time that can help you with this.
5 Tips to Create a Balanced Digital Diet
Don’t blame technology. It’s our habits that are changing the way we live. The key to making it work is to adjust your way of life and implement healthier alternatives. With just a few rules, you can connect yourself and your family to live without interruption and distraction.
In the long-haul, you will learn healthier habits that can make you more productive and happy. These five tips can help you draft up a digital diet and limit your screen time. Remember, both you and your child should be a part of this process.
- Start With Boundaries
- Don’t Use Screen Time As a Reward
- Provide a Healthy Combination of Screen Time
- Always Leave Time for Sleep and Exercise
- Break the Cycle With Patience
1. Start With Boundaries
Try to set limits on how much time you can spend online. Choose the platforms you want to visit or the games they want to play.
- Experts suggest limiting your children to a maximum of 2 hours a day screen time.
Once you are done setting the time limits, create a room that will be free of any devices. Whenever you need to spend time off the screen, these rooms can come in handy. You get a personal space to sit back and unwind.
2. Don’t Use Screen Time As a Reward
If you make screen time a reward, you will have a severe issue. It will dominate all other activities and encourage you or your child to put screen time above anything else. So, instead of focusing on homework or chores, people will do whatever it takes to get to a device as soon as possible. This will drop their focus and productivity.
The best reward is attention, particularly from the parent or caregiver. Mix the reward with entertainment and interaction. These will be natural stimuli for boosting happiness and improving the mood.
When children are younger, they value the time spent with family more than anything. If you promise to organize a family activity as a reward, you have a better chance of improving their productivity and focus.
3. Provide a Healthy Combination of Screen Time
Remember, every good plan needs to have a balance. The goal is not to make the whole process feel like a punishment, but to encourage creativity, responsibility, and engagement. Pick the best time for on-screen activity. Maybe when the child is back from school, so they can relax.
Then, let them enjoy this time they have to themselves. The key is to give them space to enjoy their activities for the time being. They can use this time to stay in touch with friends, check out some websites, or play games. The choice is theirs.
4. Always Leave Time for Sleep and Exercise
When you are trying to create a digital diet, you should always consider sleep and exercise. It might seem tempting to look at your phone immediately before bed, but this is not a good idea. You are basically sabotaging your sleep.
It can drastically impact sleeping patterns. In fact, the longer we look at a screen before bed, the more the mind remains psychologically active. It stimulates the brain receptors and keeps the mind awake.
Plus, the blue light from the phone can suppress the melatonin, which can damage the vision. Since the light mimics daylight, it causes alertness and makes you feel awake. If you have trouble falling asleep, you might need a new mattress. You can check out this Nest Bedding Mattress Reviews if you consider getting a new one.
Experts suggest you keep all devices, including the phones and tablets, outside your bedroom.
You shouldn’t disrupt your sleeping patterns and the best way to do it so to avoid screen time before sleep altogether. That way, you and your child can get enough sleep and replenish your energy. Also, don’t forget to exercise. All the physical activity will help you get enough sleep.
5. Break the Cycle With Patience
Ever wondered why you couldn’t put down the phone? Do you feel a sudden sensation to unlock the screen and check the messages? No matter how hard you try, the sensation keeps coming back. This is to be expected. Screen-time addiction can have a severe impact.
That’s why establishing new habits takes time and effort. To stop the compulsive need to tap the screen and mindless scrolling, you need one thing – patience. Be reserved with yourself and your child.
Start by appreciating every change. Always use compliments as motivation. Gradually, the mind will learn not to succumb to temptation and jump for a device at the first opportunity. To make the process a little bit easier, turn off the notifications, put the phone on silent, and set it aside.
Don’t feel overwhelmed if it doesn’t work at first. It is all about taking control of your emotions. With practice and discipline, you can make that happen.
Like any other addiction, screen time addiction can be a real problem. It’s a way of escapism for most children. It hinders their physical and emotional health and makes them unable to deal with their issues in life. According to SleepStandards, establishing a healthy digital diet is an excellent step to success. With the right encouragement, you can always get a positive emotional response. But, this is not something your child should do alone. If you want to teach them healthy habits, you should do it too. After all, children will copy you. Eventually, your child will learn how to overcome difficult situations and grow. As long as you stick to these tips we listed above, you will be on the right track. Have you ever considered giving these tips a go? Did they work for you? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.