Have you heard the news?  This past week the New York Times wrote an article about new World Health Organization guidelines that suggest no screen time for children under the age of 5.  If you’re like most modern day parents, who rely on screen time for a shower and to cook meals, you’re probably wondering how on earth you can decrease your child’s screen time while also staying sane.  We have a few tips for you!

  1. Don’t bring screens out of the house. Of course, you have to bring your phone with you, I mean, we’re not under 5!  Plus, our phones are essential in case of emergencies.  However, if your child has their own tablet, try “forgetting” it at home a few times as you work towards less screen time.  If you don’t have the screen with you there’s no chance you’ll give in to your child’s begging.  Try playing games like “I Spy” while out in public to keep your child’s mind off of not having a screen.
  2. Don’t use it during transitions. The easiest time to use screens is during transition times, such as in the car, the stroller, or on the subway. It may seem harmless, but this time really starts to add up.  Try finding non-screen items that will keep your child engaged during these times, such as books or stickers, as well as keeping your child entertained by singing songs and talking with them.
  3. Find a new hobby. If it feels like your child has no interests outside of screens it’s time to find a new hobby! You can do so by signing your child up for classes and activities that you think they’ll enjoy.  Once you find something your child is really interested in you can buy equipment to practice that activity at home, read books about that activity, and search the internet for crafts related to that activity.
  4. Make a schedule. Sometimes we revert to screens because we run out of ideas about what else to do. Time can go by so slowly, especially when the weather is bad or there are no planned classes or activities for the day.  Making a schedule and coming up with different activities for every 30-60 minutes (depending on the activity and the age of your child) can help keep you on track and off of screens.
  5. Sign your child up for classes! And of course, the easiest way to keep your child off of screens is to sign them up for classes and activities through Go Bambino!  Your child will be engaged for the entire session and won’t be missing screens at all!  And, depending on the class and age of your child, you may even get that much-needed break!

Remember to take baby steps as weaning your child off of screens will be hard for both of you.  But, with the help of Go Bambino, you can do it!  And don’t be too hard on yourself – parenting is hard with or without screens!