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Be Your Kids Super Hero: 9 Habits to Healthify Your Kids Screen Time

By: Tam John, Author of A Fresh Wellness Mindset

Your hunch the modern invention of all that screen time your kids are soaking up is detracting from their whole being development is genuine. According to Medline Plus, screen time is a term used for activities done in front of a screen, such as watching TV, working on a computer, or playing video games. Three hours of daily TV viewing is common for kids. Total screen time soaring to five and even seven hours daily is not untypical.  

Reasons for limiting too much screen time are plentiful. Kids living with excessive screen time are more likely to be obese and have poor physical conditioning since screen time uses little physical energy. Insomnia and mood and attention issues are common results of too much screen time. 

Rather than talk to each other when side by side or even on the phone like a generation or two ago did, kids tap out messages as the means of relating to each other. According to a UCLA psychology study, children's social skills may be declining as they have less time for face-to-face interaction due to their increased use of digital media. The study cites children do substantially better recognizing human emotions when they have limited screen time.  

Too much screen time could be akin to creating an addiction. A kid not hearing parents isn't new to the 'screen time generation' but it seems the absence of mind creates a trance-like devotion to the screen in front of their face. 

9 habits to improve your kid's screen time for their health:
  1. Don't use the TV as a backdrop when it isn't being watched. Instead, put on pleasant music if sound is preferred over quiet.  Many kids who study with classical music perform well.

  2. Require as much physical activity as screen time.  Play out of doors with your kids.    Kick a ball around the yard or park, play catch, go on a nature walk, ride bicycles together, dance classes, swimming lessons, school sports, music lessons, etc.  

  3. Have a family night without TV every week. Play board games, do puzzles, crafts and cook meals. Choose movies to watch as a family and talk about the movies afterward (what was the story, what did they like, dislike, favorite characters, etc).

  4. Make age-appropriate chores part of daily life. They should make their own bed, take out the trash, help in the kitchen, care for a pet, put their things away and keep their bedroom floor picked up and so on.

  5. Screen time is a privilege to be primarily used for study and learning. Sit down beside your kids and guide them to credible research-based sites.  Enjoy the wonder of amazing resources to discover the world like National Geographic Kids and the like.

  6. Protect them. Talk with your kids about the importance to not believe everything online. Block inappropriate sites. There are apps that will do this for you. Require you have access to all devices (passwords) at all times. Look at their browsing history.

  7. No devices two hours before bed. This will help their brains wind down before bed and promote falling asleep and staying asleep for a good night's rest. Collect devices so there aren't any cheats.

  8. No devices at the meal timetable. Mealtime is the perfect time for the family to come together.  Especially if it is just you and a kiddo, mealtime is a perfect bonding time.  Physiologically slowing down to notice, enjoy, and taste food promotes good digestion and absorption of nutrients.

  9. Set up a fun reading challenge. Offer activity rewards such as outings, adventures, or day trips. Read to them before they read.  Read with them when they are older.

It isn't always easy to protect your babes from a danger that doesn't appear to be imminent.  It takes the determination of any Mama protecting her baby to keep them out of harm.  As much as kids will resist, they need their parents to be the superheroes in their lives.  

With your leadership (monkey see monkey do), consistency and engaging them in interesting pursuits, your kiddos can reap the reward of optimal screen time and wholesome diversity in body and mind.  

Tam John knows feelings determine healthful choices.  Food, drink, the choices you make and how you fend off stress all play together and create how well you perpetually rejuvenate yourself.  Tam's approach guides you to sort out your feelings with enlightened guidance personally aligned for your unique being. For a complimentary conversation, click here to see if her approach is a fit for you. To learn more about Tam visit

References:  Screen time and children. (n.d.) In Medline Plus online, Retrieved from 

Wolpert, S. (2014, August 21). In our digital world, why are young people losing the ability to read emotions? Retrieved from  

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Tags: Behavior, Internet-Media, Motherhood-Fatherhood, Parenting, Social Issues
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