Welcome to the Habyts 32 Screen Time Tips

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1st

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Identify your own motivations for setting screen time limits, e.g. to create a richer family life. Your day-to-day tactics may change, but when you hit waves of resistance this initial deeper goal will give you the confidence to continue.

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2nd

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Start with a small achievable win. Make the initial rules so easy that your child cannot fail. This gives them the confidence to give it a go, rather than say no to you outright. Slow and steady wins the race.

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3rd

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Focus on helping your child stick to their screen time routine, but don’t nag or make them feel bad. They’ll build up their level of performance once the behaviour becomes consistent.

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4th

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Reframe screen time as a privilege. Many kids feel entitled to screen time and the prospect of digital rules puts some kids on the defensive. By making screen time something a child must earn, you can use screen time as a motivational tool to build healthy habits.

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5th

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Start with your child’s screen time issue. This will help you identify the right screen time routine. For example, if homework distractions are an issue, you may decide to implement a ‘Weekend Only’ or ‘Homework First’ screen time routine.

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6th

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Kick off the tech talk with your child using questions. “What do you like to do online?” or “What do you find frustrating about how we manage screen time at home?”  Let your child be heard and they’ll give you some useful insights.

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7th

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Lay out the immediate benefits of a screen time routine.  From a child’s perspective, these may include getting parents off their back, gaining more independence to manage their devices or having the potential to earn more screen time and privileges.

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8th

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9th

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Agree not to check phones during conversations. You’re in this together!

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10th

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Set up a charging station using a simple plug or a multi-socket extension lead. Get gadgets out of bedrooms by charging everyone’s devices at the station overnight.

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11th

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12th

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Agree a time when all screens go off for everyone. For example, at least an hour before bedtime.

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13th

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Set an example. Cut back on your own screen time. Not surprisingly, kids accept new rules more easily when parents have to follow them as well.

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14th

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Have a detox day – or just an evening – each week for your family.

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15th

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Use a solution that monitors screen time across multiple devices. So one hour really is one hour – regardless of how many devices your child owns.

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16th

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Be sure the app can block distracting websites and apps during study time. This way you don’t have to guess whether your child is doing homework — you just know.

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17th

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Choose an app that separates play and screen time. This means your kids aren’t penalised while using screens for homework.

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18th

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Find a solution that sets your child tasks, and reminds them when they are due. Smart solutions out there also allow you to block screen time until a task is done.

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19th

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Motivate your kids with an app that lets them earn points for doing tasks which unlock rewards. This could be bonus screen time or a non-digital reward agreed with your child.

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20th

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Find an app that works across your kids’ devices! Most kids have Android phones or iPads or Windows laptops. A flexible app will be able to work across all of them.

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21st

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Celebrate the smallest of screen time wins! The recognition doesn’t have to be anything grand. 

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22nd

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Use descriptive praise to both strengthen your relationship with your child and build better screen habits.

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23rd

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Teach kids to set up small rewards for themselves to finish tasks.  By practising in small steps, kids train themselves to defer instant gratification.

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24th

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Tackle digital transitions. Make sure that whatever immediately follows screen time is something your child enjoys. It’s probably best to avoid something like chores.

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25th

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Create a list of rewards in advance. Remember: rewards don’t have to be large or involve money to be effective.

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26th

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Don’t forget to make a list of rewards for yourself. It’s important to keep YOUR resolve. Give yourself a lazy day or even just an hour! 

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27sup>th

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Remember your original goal. If you’re wondering whether you are moving forward, progress toward that shared original goal is your yardstick.

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28th

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Don’t forget to ask your kids what they think. Treat it as a shared experiment, not a blame and shame game and they’ll be keen to monitor their own progress.

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29th

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Keep your cool. When your kids kick up a fuss (and they will), just listen. Chances are, once tempers have cooled, you can refine your screen time routine to help ease tensions.

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30th

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Lay out the immediate benefits of a screen time routine.  From a child’s perspective, these may include getting parents off their back or gaining more independence to manage their devices.

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31st

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Choose an app that separates play and screen time. This means your kids aren’t penalised while using screens for homework.

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1st

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BONUS TIP! 

Review progress regularly with your child. Recognise even the baby steps, and allow time for each habit to stick.

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