Tips to limit setting for screen time

17 Nov 2021
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Tips to limit setting for screen time

Things to understand about limit setting with screen time

  • If you are limit setting around screen time your child will need something else to do.  This should be an activity that is as enjoyable if not more.  Have their day planned out around scheduled screen time.
  • If you don’t understand the game/movie etc being consumed, this is an opportunity to show interest in your child’s life.  Become curious and interested, you’ll develop empathy and understanding and your child will be chuffed!
  • If gaming is the only thing your child enjoys, it is time to get creative.
    • As we learned in Screen time and Explosive Behaviour screen time can release dopamine which motivates us to keep gaming and neglect other activities.  But there are other neurotransmitters in the reward pathway like Serotonin, Endorphins and Oxytocin.  We get these from having meaningful interactions with people we care about. From engaging in exercise, and from being held and loved.
  • Choose activities you both enjoy and do it together
    • Ride your bikes, play at the beach, build a fortress, kick the footy.
Family fun

Things to understand about setting limits

Limits need to be:

  • Practical and enforceable
    • Screen’s can provide parents with a moment’s peace, space to get dinner ready, or just some well earned downtime.  When we’re upset we may be prone to saying regrettable things like “you’re grounded for life!” Nobody wants to enforce that! Nobody wins when you take the device away for a whole week! You’ll more likely cave and your child learns that you don’t stick to your guns.  Have a breath and ensure you’re calm before setting limits.  If you’re taking the device away, have another activity planned.
  • Short and concise
    • When we get upset we tend to use lots of words.  Most of these go unheard.  Use the rule of 5: Noun, Verb and three others.  For example, Amy, put the phone down, or Sunny, sit over here please.
  • Understood
    • Be sure that they have heard the limits you put in place. Have them repeat it back to you or write it down where you can see.

If you feel like you want to learn more, feel free to contact us and find out when Greenhouse is running this training near you.

Keys to success with limit setting

  • Encourage outdoor activities with family and/or friends so some of the other neurotransmitters firing.
  • Implement “Screen Free Zones and Times”.  When your child knows ahead of time when and where screen time occurs it will lead to less conflict.
  • Model Healthy Screen use.  Abide by your own rules and avoid hypocrisy.
  • Explain why you think it is important.  Help your child understand why limiting screen time is important.  Show them how they are being gamed.  See Screen time and Explosive Behaviour
  • Use positive Reinforcement. Odds are, playing with them outside will be reinforcement enough.
By jerem

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