Fitness4Less Healthy Hub - Fitness4Less - Fresh, fun and affordable gyms around the UK

Follow us on Social     blog

Fitness4Less Healthy Hub

<< back to blog
How To Create A Healthy Screen-Time Balance At Home

How To Create A Healthy Screen-Time Balance At Home

Encouraging your kids to put down their phones can feel like an impossible task. And now that we're all spending more time inside during lockdown, it's even trickier to find alternative distractions. Especially, if your children are participating in home-schooling in front of a computer all day.

Too much screen time can affect your child's quality of sleep and interrupts valuable family time. Not to mention, in-person interaction is essential for developing communication skills and helping children to socialise properly.

In particular, excessive screen-time can have negative effects on nutrition and physical health. Regular movement combined with a balanced diet helps to prevent child obesity and unhealthy relationships with food from an early age.

Find a few ways to help create a better screen-time/active-time balance with your kids at home below:

Not All Screen Time is Bad
It's important to note that not all screen-time is bad. In this day and age, it's pretty impossible to expect kids to abandon screens completely - it would become quite isolating over time. And ironically, framing screen-time as something to always avoid may only encourage them to want to use their screens more.

Instead, rather make sure that the type of screen time they engage in is educational, positive, and interactive.

For example, interactive YouTube videos that teach children a new skill such as cooking, are incredibly valuable. Screen time combined with an activity is a simple way to get your kids to do more than just sit on the couch phone in hand.

Another way to create a more positive relationship with screens is to encourage your kids to chat about the games they play online and the media they consume. Providing a space where they can share freely builds trust and can help avoid situations where children refrain from expressing their interests for fear of judgement.

Screen-time also doesn't have to be done alone - you can do it together. Watching a movie with your kids and discussing the storyline and characters is an effective exercise that's both enjoyable and educational.

Setting Boundaries For Screen-Time
Whilst not all time spent staring at a screen is bad for you, it's not something your kids should be doing for hours on end. Just like anything, everything in moderation is the way to approach it.

A few healthy boundaries you can set include:
  • Create a daily schedule that includes time for relaxation. To avoid painting screen-time in a negative light, use the words 'Free Time' in your schedule to allow your kids to choose what they do. Granted they may pick up their phones in their 'Free Time' slot, but wording it this way is much more positive and promotes independent decision-making.
  • Create screen-free zones in your house. If there's a TV in your child's bedroom or even in family eating areas, consider removing them. If they don't exist then there's less chance for your children to over-consume.
  • Avoid TV during meals. It's easy to pop on a movie at dinner time and this is not a crime once in a while. But there is a big opportunity to have valuable conversations when you eat as a family - something you might miss out on if everyone's glued to the TV screen.
  • Incorporate exercise into their daily routine. And no, this doesn't mean just telling your kids to "go outside". Frame exercise around a fun game or activity that won't make them think it's really exercising. Build a fort, play tag, or even make a snowman in Winter.
  • Incorporate mindfulness into their routine. Do a family stretch or meditation before bed to let your kids unwind without their screens. Regular mindfulness activities can help to reduce anxiety and help kids to develop their emotional awareness. Check out our Top 3 Free Mindfulness Apps here:
Creating a balance at home can be tough, especially if your kids are already set in a routine. But small changes can lead to dramatic changes in overall health and happiness. Lead by example and get creative!

Social Feed