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Your child’s total screen time is probably greater than you know. Start monitoring it and talk to your child about the importance of sitting less and moving more. Also, set screen time rules — and explain the consequences of breaking them. In the meantime, here are a few simple steps to reduce screen time:
Eliminate background TV.
If the TV is turned on — even if just in the background — it will draw your child’s attention. If you’re not actively watching a show, turn the set off. Keep TVs and computers out of the bedroom. Children who have TVs in their bedrooms watch more TV than children who don’t. Monitor your child’s screen time and the websites he or she is visiting by keeping televisions and computers in a common area in your house.
Don’t eat in front of the TV.
Allowing your child to eat or snack in front of the television increases his or her screen time. The habit also encourages mindless munching, which can lead to weight gain. Set school day rules. Most children have limited free time during the school week. Don’t let your child spend all of it in front of a screen. Also, avoid using screen time as a reward or punishment. This can make screen time seem even more important to children.
Suggest other activities.
Rather than relying on screen time for entertainment, help your child find other things to do, such as reading, playing a sport, helping with cooking, or trying a board game.
Set a good example.
Be a good role model by limiting your own screen time.
If screen time is becoming a source of tension in your family, unplug the TV, turn off the computer or put away the smart phones or video games for a while. Designate one day a week as a screen-free day for the whole family. To prevent unauthorized viewing, put a lock on your TV’s electrical plug. — Mayoclinic.com