12 Ways to Tame Your Family’s Screen Time in 2022

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The new year brings a new opportunity to improve our use of technology; Yes, That Means No More Phones In The Bathroom

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Each member of the family can start by assessing their technology usage and sharing the results. screen-time settings Apple and android device Allows you to see how much time you’ve spent on the device in a given week, and how much is spent on specific apps. (there are ways Put it on your Mac. do on or Windows PC,

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Ask gamers in the family to log how much time they play in a week. Can be a total eye opener. I was shocked to learn that last week the majority of my own phone time was on the Messages app—texting over three hours!

There is no need to adopt all these resolutions, just choose a few that suit you.

Let the kids set their own screen time
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Parenting mentor, Susan Groner, said setting rules around technology use is most successful when the whole family is involved in decision-making. “What if we taught kids to be their own screen-time warden?”

Ask your kids how much and what type of screen time they want, and how they plan to monitor it. Then let them manage it on their own for a week. Afterwards, ask what worked and what didn’t. Could they get homework done and complete chores and other activities? Did they get enough sleep? Does keeping track of the clock work, or do they need to set an alarm?

It could take weeks to figure this out – if at all – but Ms Groner said the approach teaches important lessons in time management. Plus, kids are more likely to follow the rules they helped set.

Agree on when and where you use the devices

Having consistent rules about when and where devices can be used can end conflict. If, for example, the family agrees not to call at the dinner table or in the bedrooms at night, there’s no arguing about it.

Susan Erico, a digital-wellness guide based in Old Lyme, Conn., decided to stop bringing her phone into the bathroom. “The feeling that we should have our phones on at all times is something I want to challenge,” she said.

Lack of Gamify technology

If you have a competitive streak in your family, use that to your advantage, said Chris Flack, co-founder of Unplug, a digital-wellness consultancy. Maybe parents challenge themselves to scroll Instagram for two hours a week while kids reduce their TikTok consumption by the same amount. The one who completes the goal gets the pizza; The losers get a Bologna sandwich.

Devote time to non-technical activities

Expressing a desire for more outdoor time or more reading isn’t enough – budget that time and maybe incorporate it into your daily routine. You can schedule a Saturday for family trips or another day for reading together. My youngest two kids go to bed at the same time, and one of them reads aloud to the other before the lights. We also plan to increase reading time during screen-free Sundays.

bank screen time

To make other resolutions possible, such as reading more, you can encourage them. A friend of mine plans to have the same amount of time for iPad play after her kids spend as many hours on their work and reading.

make small daily changes

If a full screen-free day seems too daunting, make small daily reductions in screen use. Reducing your tech use to two hours a day for an entire year gives you a full month back of your life. Consider cutting the hour you spend checking the news in the morning (or switch to a podcast, like The Journal or What’s News) and the hour you spend at night scrolling through Instagram in bed. (The latter goes easy without the phone-in-the-bedroom rule.)

swap screen activities

Maybe you want better, no less, Screen Time. If your kids are watching endless streams on TikTok or YouTube, swap out some curated content like smart Netflix shows. ,turn off netflix autoplay.) Or just watch them do something educational—maybe even boring. “If programming is less engaging, they’ll reach for that book,” said Nicole Rawson, founder of Screen Time Clinic, a network of digital-wellness coaches.

Ban devices during family movie night

Movie night can bring families together, but staring at the screen while the movie is playing defeats the purpose. Mr Flack said viewing devices during in-person interactions also reduces the quality of conversations. Is known “iphone effect, “It happens whether the phone is on or off. He suggests putting the devices in another room while bonding over a favorite show or movie.

Avoid social media till noon

Ms. Eriko said she finds that starting your day without checking Twitter or Instagram helps you develop more self-control over social-media use.

find a social alternative

You don’t need to be on a large social-media network to stay connected with friends and family. Switching to an alternative photo-sharing app or smaller social network can free you from the political rant and drama often found on some of the larger platforms. Danny Groner, a marketing executive in New York (and no relation to Susan Groner) deactivated his Facebook account on December 31 and replaced it with a Substack newsletter, where he shares his thoughts with a much smaller group of people. does.

Let your device settings help you

Set your phone to Do Not Disturb when you want to focus on other activities or sleeping. In iOS 15, the feature became part of a new setting called Focus, which allows you to do more than just silence everything. You can select certain people or apps that you want to receive notifications at a time when all others are silent. Android devices too Do not disturb settings, Alternatively, you can use your phone’s settings to limit the time on your most addictive apps.

Choose Phone or FaceTime to Text

Don’t text automatically when you want to reach out to someone. Michelle Dietman, an accountant in Leewood, Kan., decided to stop texting her teenage son, who ignored her texts anyway.

Instead, she leaves notes on the fridge for him using magnetic letters. She also spells out a word of the week and sends a picture of it to her older son in Seattle. She asks him to answer with a FaceTime call and use the word in the conversation.

Whatever you decide to do, formalize it by writing down your proposals and how you plan to implement them. This will help hold everyone in the family accountable, including you.

Write Julie Jargon at [email protected]

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