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Four simple ways to achieve your screen time resolutions

We sometimes get so caught up with managing our children’s screen time that we forget about our own digital habits - but if you can balance your own use of tech, you’ll find it easier to help them balance theirs.

Reduce notifications

Putting smartphones down is easier said than done - that softly vibrating notification buzz is perfectly designed to pull us back in.

Adjust your settings so you’re only interrupted by the notifications you really need. Check when you last used each app - if it wasn’t today or yesterday, turn off its notifications. That way you’ll know that when your phone chimes, you are actually going to want to hear what it has to say.

Get wellbeing apps - and use them

Never off your phone? A digital wellbeing app will help you get a handle on just how much time you spend on Instagram.

Apple’s ‘Screen Time’, for example, gives you a full break-down of how your daily screen time has been spent — dividing it into categories such as gaming, social media and entertainment.

If you have smart devices like Alexa, or the Google Home range, play around with the digital wellbeing functions. Downtime turns off Google Home during preset periods - you’ll get no notifications, other than alarms you’ve set, and you won’t be able to use connected devices like Android TVs or Chromecasts.

Now roll it out to the rest of the family

Great news - all of these tips will work for children as well as adults.

There are some great tools out to help manage how immersed your child gets in gaming. Nintendo Switch, for example, allows parents to set screen time limits for each day of the week -  your child will be given a gentle reminder when they’ve almost met their quota after which the console will switch off.

Create a screen time schedule

It’s always tempting to go for ‘just one more’ box set episode or Fortnite round - and much easier to resist if you’ve set yourselves a time limit in advance.

Try making a screen time schedule which gives everyone an agreed-upon amount of gaming, YouTube or Netflix each day - and make sure you include yourself! Children are much more likely to accept limits if they see that you are leading by example - so you’re all more likely to get enough sleep, or find time for physical activity. Result - everyone wins.

 

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