We are in the midst of the summer vacation. For children, holidays spell the start of unlimited fun time and the freedom to do anything they want. As a parent, while you may want your child to enjoy to their fullest, you need to be careful about how they spend their day. Do they remain glued to the screen and mobile devices all day or do they prefer playing sports and being outdoors? 

Many researchers worldwide have proved that too much screen time for kids results in several problems, like disturbed sleep, diminished ability to recognise emotions and addiction. Besides, by being glued to the screen for a long time, kids may miss out on the real joys of childhood, like going out to the beach, playing in the mud, spending time with neighbours, etc.  

As you work to reduce screen time for kids, you must also work towards establishing a healthy ‘play diet’ for them. You can let them have their screen time but also ensure that you create a fine balance between screen time and outdoor time during the summer holidays.  

Before we get down to the tips to reduce screen time, let us look at what the experts suggest about the ideal screen time for kids of different age groups. 

Also Read: 5 Things to Consider for a Holistic Family time

Recommend screen time for children 

  • Children aged under two years – Zero screen except video calling with family
  • Children aged between 3-5 years – Not more than one hour a day. But make sure that one of the adults in the family always accompanies them
  • Children aged between 6-17 years – Not more than two hours in a day 

5 Different Ways to Reduce Screen Time for Kids During Summer  

  • Set a realistic goal 

Remember, for most kids and teenagers, the forbidden fruit seems tempting the most. In your bid to reduce screen time of your kid, don’t cut off it off completely at once. This could prove to be counterintuitive and spurs their desire to get online even more.  

Instead, be realistic and set a time limit for their screen activities in a day. Accept the fact that they need to use their mobile devices for everyday purposes. Based on their age, establish a rule in the house where they can use their mobile for some time and for the rest of the day encourage them to play outdoor games, read, play games or do other physical activities.  

  • Discuss with your child

Thinking about how to reduce screen time of children? You cannot literally impose restrictions on them. Instead, discuss with them about how they need to manage their screen time every day, how it affects their physical and mental wellbeing. You must also tell them they need to get out of the house, go outdoors and do physical activities.  

Set a mutually agreeable limit. For example, you can let them watch only a specific program or use their devices for a specific hour of the day; set a timer for them and as soon as the alarm goes off, encourage them to voluntarily get off the screen. This way, the impact will be much stronger and they will be more disciplined.  

  • Help your child with doing other activities

Simply telling your child to stop using mobile won’t work. You must guide them on how they spend their day and suggest activities to reduce screen time. Work with your child to know about their interest, and together prepare a plan and list down the things they can do or you both can do together at different times of the day.  

Knowing exactly what to do would give your child a sense of predictability and they would be looking forward to doing different things instead of being left guessing what to do next. They may even refrain from spending time in front of the screen if they find other activities more interesting. 

Also Read: 5 Skills You Can Learn Online While Stuck Indoors

  • Be a role model for the kid

The kids learn the most from the things they see and observe. They try to imitate things they see their parents doing at home. When you are finding ways to limit screen time of your kids, set an example for them.

Even as you tell your child to stop using their mobile device, you may feel tempted to reach out to your phone or iPad to check your email, news, or social media handles. At such times, you may be setting a bad example for your child, and they will pick up the habit from you.  

So, when there is no screen time, make sure that you stay disconnected as well and keep your hands off your mobile, laptop, iPad. Spend the time with your child, have a conversation, bond with them, do some outdoor activity together, and enjoy your summer too.  

  • Plan a holiday

One of the best ways to limit screen time and balance outdoor time during summer is to actually go outdoors with your kids. And the best way to do that is to plan a holiday. Children love the idea of going to a new place, the excitement of seeing new things, exploring new places, travelling, and having new experiences fill their mind, and they automatically immerse themselves in their own planning of the things they want to do, which takes their time away from the screen.  

And when you are on a holiday, the new sights intrigue them, and they would be looking forward to a new adventure every day rather than just sit in a corner with a mobile in their hand. So, discuss with your family and even ask the kids about where they want to go, what are the things they want to do, and choose the right destination accordingly.  

Wherever you choose to go, you can book your stay at Club Mahindra resort or one of their partner resorts. The resorts offered by Club Mahindra are rated among the best family resorts in India and for a good reason. They offer a range of curated experiences for everyone in the family to spend time together, strengthen their bonds, and have fun at the same time.  

For kids especially, they have a dedicated activity space called #HappyHub where your child can play different games and indulge in creativity-inducing activities, like rock painting or learn a new skill like pottery.  

With so many ways to limit screen time, use our tips to help your children find a fine balance between spending time indoors in front of a screen and being outdoors during summer. 

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About Club Mahindra

Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd. (MHRIL), a part of Leisure and Hospitality sector of the Mahindra Group, offers quality family holidays primarily through vacation ownership memberships and brings to the industry values such as reliability, trust and customer satisfaction. Started in 1996, the company's flagship brand ‘Club Mahindra’, today has over 290,000 members , who can holiday at 140+ resorts in India and abroad.

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