Most parents would be distressed by the screams and cries of a child being pried away from a mobile device. Thankfully, those emotional tantrums can be prevented if done right with appropriate guidelines!
Read on as TOUCH Cyber Wellness shares five tips to help you manage your child’s screen time without the dreaded scream time.
- Establish firm guidelines before devices are switched on
- Duration of play time and the type of game (content)
- List down the consequences of a broken agreement
- Without guidelines and an agreement, it would be hard to put an end to the gaming session once the child gets too immersed in it. This would usually result in techno-tantrums and scream time.
- Give a specific end time
- Time is an abstract concept for children to understand. At a young age, they would not be able to understand the notion of “five minutes”.
- Using terms like “three levels/stages” or “three rounds” in a game would be easier for children to comprehend.
- Give a specific endpoint (e.g. “stop at 7:00pm” instead of “you have 30 minutes”)
- Provide cues to prepare a transition away from screens
- Prime children cognitively (e.g. countdown from 10 to the end of game session or inform them of the last level/round)
- Such cues will help ease children away from the state of being too immersed in the game and prevent them from losing track of time.
- Maintain eye contact with the children and ensure their response and acknowledgement.
- Encourage children to switch off devices on their own
- Refrain from pulling the plug or snatching away the device abruptly
- Letting children switch off the device on their own enables them to feel that they are in control and demonstrate positive behaviour.
- More positive responsive approach that gives children a sense of control
- Have an appealing transition activity that expels their energy
- Plan an enjoyable physical activity that would help children expend some of their pent-up energy from screen time.
- When a child still willfully breaks the rules, parents should be firm to enforce rules with direct logical consequences (e.g. withdrawal of gadget privileges)
Want to know more about instilling good online practices in your child? Get in touch with TOUCH Cyber Wellness here!