Mother and blogger, Molly DeFrank, has managed to do what a lot of parents haven’t yet: limit her children’s screen time to a bare minimum. She backs her decision and the effects of it with surprisingly strong positive results that prove that the less your kids spend in front of a screen, the better it is for their health.
Bright Side is here to show you this story so you can see that it really does work. And as a bonus, we have a list of guidelines for children’s media use at the end of the article.
Her kids were acting like “Demogorgons” because of screens.
Molly saw that her children were too consumed by their devices and decided to take action. She wrote, “My precious babies were acting like Demogorgons.”
According to her, even a 1-hour limit was still muting her kids’ creativity, causing grumpiness, fighting, and whining. So she and her husband decided to pull the plug completely. After some protesting, her children finally moved on.
Her 5-step plan to help kids quit screens
What initially had started as a 30-day screen detox has become a lifestyle change in her home of 5 children under the age of 10. Molly has created a plan of how to take screens out of children’s lives. It consists of 5 steps that have already been proven to work.
- Cut out screens completely for 30 days.
- Go to the library and let them find a stack of books they think are interesting.
- Compile a list of free play options. Your own childhood could be a useful reference!
- Watch and observe your kids and which activities they enjoy the most.
- Make a long-term plan that works best for your family.
Her experiment showed undeniable results.
According to Molly, quitting screens was surprisingly easy and her 9-year-old daughter had told her that she was actually glad they had been cut out of her routine. Furthermore, her daughter has advanced 5 reading levels in just 7 months and is able to read books faster than Molly can buy them, while her son has given the family art classes.
“My kids play together better, are more creative, more obedient, happier, and sleep better. Sure, they’re still human beings and can fight with each other like any siblings. But the change in their attitudes overall was instant, noticeable, and for the better,” she explained.
Kids can, indeed, live without Netflix, YouTube, and all their favorite videogames that they love to spend hours playing. Technology is, of course, very useful, but we need to teach our kids to not become dependent on them and obsessed. Molly’s children are proof that your kids can be happy without being on their devices all day long. And not only that — they’ll actually benefit from it!
Bonus: guidelines for children’s media use
In 2016, the American Academy of Pediatricsannounced a list of recommendations that can help you do what Molly did.
- Create a family media plan.
- Check what type of media is used and learn which kinds are appropriate for every kid. Agree on time and media type limits.
- Help your child select media that will be educational and good for them.
- For children ages 6 and older, set media use limits so other activities such as physical activity, sleep, family meals, school, and friends, are not infringed on.
- Don’t allow your children to use any media while they’re doing homework. Make sure they don’t sleep with devices in their bedrooms.
- Create media-free zones like the dinner table, for instance.
- Show your kids healthy ways to use social media.
Have you tried limiting your children’s screen time? Share your methods with us and tell us how it went!
Preview photo credit depositphotos.com