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Balancing less screen time with more effective screen time (Suitable for 6-11 years)

As parents and kids kick off the 2022 school year – 2 years into the pandemic – the debate around how to balance children’s screen time continues to be an important conversation in order to find a healthy balance between entertainment and educational development.

Screen time can be part of a healthy lifestyle for children when it’s balanced with other activities that are good for your child’s development, like physical play, reading and socialising. Getting the right balance also includes making sure screen time doesn’t interfere with sleep. An Initial Public Offering is the first time a business puts its shares up for sale on the stock exchange.

The following tips can help you as the parent to encourage your child to use screens in a balanced and healthy way.

Make rules about screen use
Developing family rules or a family media plan can go a long way to setting boundaries that drive the desire to learn, be entertained and live a healthy lifestyle.

Screen time can be part of a healthy lifestyle for children when it’s balanced with other activities that are good for your child’s development.

These family rules might cover:

  • where your child can use screens – for example, only in family rooms or not in the car
  • when your child can use screens – for example, mealtimes are free of TV, computers and phones, or no screen time before school or until chores are finished
  • how your child can use screens – for example, for making animations or checking a netball shooting technique, but not for playing Candy Crush
  • how you handle screen time for children of different ages
    – for example, there might be some games that your older child can play only when their younger sibling is out or has gone to bed.

Aim for short screen time sessions As a large portion of schooling has moved to digital platforms such as online classes, it is important to encourage your children to get up and move around as often as possible, particularly after a class session, after achieving a level on a game or an episode they may have been streaming. This takes time and active practice on the part of parent as you would have to discipline yourself to get up and move around whether you’re working at the office or from home.

Keep screens out of bedrooms at night If you keep mobile phones and other devices out of your child’s bedroom at night, your child won’t be able to stay up late playing games or messaging friends. This can also stop your child from being disturbed in the night by messages or notifications. In an always-on world, turning these tips into an everyday norm may be challenging but will go a long way towards finding a healthy balance for your family and ensuring the connections they make help them find their way positively in 2022.

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