Why Parents Need Screen Time Limits Too
That 'quality time' you think you're having with your kids probably isn't as 'quality' as you think
10 November 2019
There is such a thing as too much screen time for parents, and OMO Arabia explains why...
For most parents nowadays, memories of childhood summers spent outside will whip up a nice dose of nostalgia. Fast forward a couple of decades and instead of mud pies and piles of leaves, children are having screen time limits enforced.
But despite how much parents love to say 'kids these days', you'll be surprised that researchers are speaking about 'parents these days', too.
Studies show that parents today are spending too much time on their phones and their laptops, instead of spending that time with their children.
In fact, parents are spending only 50 minutes with their children on a normal working day, and even those 50 minutes are spent with mum or dad's eyes glued to a TV, their phone or a video game.
This is why OMO Arabia is on a mission to encourage parents to have 'off-hours' too and remind them that they should be an example of what they want their children to become.
Children learn habits from their parents, which include time spent watching the TV or using a tablet or smartphone. Because of this, it's important to make time to unplug as a parent and prioritise quality time with their kids - without the interference of a screen.
That's not all - parents who are absorbed with or distracted by their smartphone tend to have more conflict with children, and may encounter more difficult child behaviours in the future.
Parents are present, but not really 'present'
Ask any parent nowadays and no doubt they'll admit having feelings of guilt over not really having 'quality' parent-child time. Yet they may not realise it could be of their own doing.
Children with parents who watch too much TV statistically tend to watch more TV, too. And when the TV is left on in the background, both parent and child tend to talk to each other less or play less richly.
They might be in the same room as your child, spending 50 minutes of time with them, but a parent distracted by a device is never truly 'present'. As a result, children are missing their parents - even when their parent is right there.
To achieve quality time with children, the solution is simple folks - turn the screen off.
Turn the device off, and enjoy that quality time
OMO Arabia is calling for all parents to enhance their family time and want YOU to turn your smartphone on silent, hide away your tablet and turn your TV off and instead engage in being active and playing with your children.
To help get you started, step one... Turn everything electronic off.
Step two, pick one of the following incredibly fun and connecting activities that you can enjoy with your little one.
Head to your local park
Whether you need to walk there or jump in the car, making the most of an evening's cooler temperature is a great way to remove yourselves from anything electronic and really embrace outdoor fun. Plenty of communities across the emirate have kids playgrounds that are free to use.
Make and eat meals with your kids
Incorporate a family mealtime for your evening dinner and make sure all members are present - physically and mentally. Get them involved in the cooking process if it's safe to do so. Then turn off all distractions, sit down around the table and get talking about how everyone's day has been.
Let your child choose the activity
Whether that means changing career to being an astronaut, or exploring a jungle for tigers or getting on all-fours and pretending you're a pony - let your mini-me choose what they want to do together, and really embrace it.
:: Whatever you choose to do, just make sure that all technology has been turned off. Don't text, answer calls, browse social media or watch TV.
After all, meaningful connections are about the quality of time, not the quantity of time. And since parents have only 50 minutes a day to spend with their children, keep it simple, turn off all devices and really connect with your child.