Every kid will spend too much time staring at a screen at one point or another. It’s a bad habit to spend a lot of time on devices every day and it’s really difficult to break. Most kids spend seven hours a day staring at screens, and the recommended amount of screen time per day is two hours. It seems pretty normal at this point in time to waste most of your day on your phone, reading texts, sending them, playing games and watching YouTube or Netflix. But, this shouldn’t be the norm.
Need help breaking your excessive screen time habits? Read the tips below.
- Don’t sleep with your electronic on your bedside table. Ask yourself, do you need your phone right beside at all times? The answer is: no, you don’t. Having your electronic with you during the time that you are supposed to be resting may trigger an impulse to pick up your screen and use it in bed. Not only is this a bad habit, but it can also harm your quality of sleep. Every notification, text, email or reminder will make you want to pick up your phone, and it’s difficult to resist the urge. Simply keep your electronic charging in another room instead of right beside you to break this bad habit.
- Use time limits set by parents. Many of you know that on Apple devices with iOS 12, you can set screen time limits for yourself that can help remind you when is a good time to stop staring at your screen. However, it’s tempting to just press that little “Ignore Limit” button that pops up when you “run out of screen time.” How can you resist that temptation? Get rid of that “Ignore Limit” button entirely.
If you have a parent set up your time limit so that you need a password to access that “Ignore Limit” button, then there will be no way that you can access more time on your electronic without convincing a parent to give you more screen time first.
- Prove to yourself that you can live without a screen. Sometimes you might think it seems impossible to go for a long period of time without electronics. However, that’s not true. You don’t have to text your friends, you can knock on their door and talk face to face. You don’t have to play video games, you can find other ways to have fun without a screen. However, this is easier said than done. In order to prove to yourself that you don’t always need to have a phone in your hands, have a family member hide your “fun” devices for a few days, excluding devices that you might need for school, like a computer (if you do use the computer during this period of time, only use it for school.) The first day will be hard, but you’ll quickly notice that you don’t really miss your device.
After doing this, you will find that you don’t really “crave” electronics anymore. Although you will still use screens, you won’t use them nearly as much as before, because you know that you can go without them.
- Although this can be hard to do, if your screen time addiction is getting out of hand, you may need to delete the most distracting apps. It might be painful to delete all of your favourite games, but you may need to do this to crush your excessive screen time habits.
- Reward yourself with small amounts of screen time. You don’t need to entirely abolish the use of screens from your life, you just need to significantly decrease the amount of time you spend on screens.
Screens are a big distraction, so they are often used as a tool for procrastination from the job you need to get done. Instead of spending a bunch of time staring at your phone and then rushing to get your homework done, you should instead do your homework first, and then reward yourself for finishing with a small amount of screen time (15-30 minutes.)
To figure out how much time you have been on your device lately, take KidMag’s Screen Time Quiz.
We hope our tips have helped you to crush your bad screen time habits. We know it may seem hard, but you should try out some of the techniques listed above. They really do work! Let us know how it goes using our contact page.