How to limit your child’s screen time

The Prophet SAW told us :“There are two blessings which many people lose: [They are] health and free time.”
How can we teach our kids to not “waste time”, when the minute we’re busy we send them to screens? If we want our kids to be productive, upright Muslims then we should start teaching them how from a young age. A smartphone or tablet can certainly be a productive tool for both adults and children. However, excessive use and dependance on these devices can create an addiction that can prove to be quite harmful. It is therefore important to control and manage children’s screen time to ensure they do not develop a screen addiction, which can have serious after-effects on their present as well as their future lives. Here are four tips to help you limit your children’s screen time you can start implementing today:
  1. Limit the time of exposure

Studies recommend that children should be subjected to a maximum of one hour a day of high quality digital media. (The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The television should be a last resort for entertainment. Try to gradually decrease its usage in the home until one hour goal is reached.
  1. Give your kids an alternative

Ensure your children are occupied with alternatives to screen time. Introduce new activities into the home such as sports, get-togethers, role playing and reading.
  1. Co-watch with your children

Screen time should not be used to distract your kids from engaging with you. Studies show that being involved with your children while they are in front of the screen makes them interact more with you.
  1. Know what they’re watching

Ensure your kids view content that is beneficial both spiritually and educationally. Most cartoons use “Non-Stop Frenetic Animated Action” or very fast paced action scenes that over-stimulate your child’s brain. Avoid letting them access this content as it will reduce their attention span and increase their addiction. And lastly, we really cannot implement any control on our kids’ screen times if we ourselves are excessively in touch with the screen in one way or the other. Put down the digital devices in the presence of your children, and then ask them to do the same.  

May Allah protect our children and make them from amongst the righteous.